The Prepper Journal http://www.theprepperjournal.com Prepping, Survival and Common Sense Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:00:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Survive and Conquer: A Newbie’s Guide to Surviving the Wildhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/30/survive-conquer-newbies-guide-surviving-the-wild/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/30/survive-conquer-newbies-guide-surviving-the-wild/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:00:33 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11786 Written by John Anderson on The Prepper Journal.

Though we all want to live, most of us do not have the skills to conquer a world where the adage “Survival of the Fittest” is a daily task. We have been too complacent with the idea of comfort that a slight inconvenience is enough to make us jump, be depressed, or worse, find ourselves […]

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Written by John Anderson on The Prepper Journal.

Though we all want to live, most of us do not have the skills to conquer a world where the adage “Survival of the Fittest” is a daily task. We have been too complacent with the idea of comfort that a slight inconvenience is enough to make us jump, be depressed, or worse, find ourselves in a life-threatening encounter. A single power outage or a couple of days of being submerged in murky flood water is enough to send us into a sphere where we fear for our own lives. How will we react and retaliate should we find ourselves in the wild with nothing but our guts and our survival know-how’s?

As uncertainties that are man-made and natural come more and more often, even newbies in the game of prepping can take considerable strides in building their survival strategies. In the wild, a small misstep or miscalculation is enough to cause you to lose your life in a matter of seconds. More importantly, studies have shown that more than incurring accidents, deaths in the wild are often caused by lack of information, preparedness, and proper execution. Even the U.S. Military adheres to the notion that surviving the wild is a decision; meaning it is bound by consistent sets of going with the best survivalist options.

Camp out and swim about

Begin befriending the wild by setting up a camp trip or a hike with your family, friends, or even a group of people you barely know. This way, you get a firsthand experience about going beyond the comforts of your home. Do your research about this trip, and plan your essentials with the least possible items so that you will be able to move more easily and faster, too. Aim to house all the things you need in a carry-all, waterproof backpack. While you may not realize it, being outdoors is way better than reading mountains of books and sources in the survivalist game. Before setting out, get to take a number of laps in your pool or a nearby body of water. The ability to swim is a newbie survivalist’s skill that can spell doom or boom in this game.

Pack wax for building a fire fast

Fire is scientifically proven to give off a sense of security and safety, so you would have to master the manner by which you can build it fast. Waterproof matches are widely available, however, you still need something else to build fire to keep you warm, and to be able to cook food and boil water. An easy way to make this feat possible is by toting cotton pads dipped in wax or filling Altoid tins with cardboard and wax. Apart from being an emergency light source, it could also ward off animals in the wild that may lurk in your territory.

Firestarters

The ability to make fire cannot be overemphasized.

Hold that high-proof alcoholic drink

More than an enjoyable drink should disaster strike, an alcoholic drink above 90-proof is highly flammable and a favorable ally in sterilizing cuts or wounds. It may even be used as a bug repellant, an anesthetic to toothache, a facial astringent, and relieves sting from poison ivy. To ensure that your alcohol supply will serve its purpose, store them in a cool, dark place. Make sure that you don’t open them as it will lose its strength after six to eight months.

Counter hypothermia with bubble wrap blanket

Instead of lugging three cotton blankets for insulation, score a bubble wrap with the size of a blanket. The air bubbles that makes up this household packing material has been proven to insulate a person better by up to 70% more than thick blankets. Hypothermia is very likely to happen when you’re in the middle of a cold, usually open area. Not being able to address this readily and properly will result in loss of consciousness, and may even lead to death, before you know it.

Power up an AA battery compartment with AAA batteries

Disasters usually bring power outage, and you would have to rely on battery-powered radios and emergency lamps. Should you run out of AA batteries, you can simply stick aluminum foil that is rolled into balls to fill the gaps left by AAA batteries.

63 one-gallon bottles of water can save a group weighing 500 pounds

While you still have time, perfect your skill in building a raft out of empty water bottles. Make sure that the bottles have the same size so that they fit well together. It is important that you determine the number of people who are going to be on the raft for this to be successful. The rule of thumb is that you would need a single bottle that houses one gallon for every 8 pounds.  For a group of individuals with a collective weight of 500 pounds, for instance, you would need to get hold of about 63 one-gallon bottles with lids tightly placed.

Plan how you will use the bottles by keeping in mind that you need to have 3 or four layers to build a raft. The base should be widest and must be secured with waterproof tape horizontally and vertically. The other layers should be slightly smaller so that the raft will stay afloat. Once done, try it out on a pool or a body of water.

Defend yourself with your house keys

While it is highly advisable that you formally learn self-defense through martial arts or even holding a gun, a lot of people either have no time or find it unnecessary to learn these survival drills. Adults, children and even elderly family members can put house keys in their fists as they get ready for a possible attack once disaster and unrest kicks in. Other household self-defense items are scissors and pepper sprays from your trusted alarm system store. Arming yourself without arousing suspicion is a must in surviving the wild. You surely don’t want uncalled for attention as you plan your evacuation, or head out to your secret destination, right?

Watch out for dogs gone wild more than venomous snakes and other animal attacks

Having to figure out a way to escape a snake is one stereotypical scene in the survival game. Snake bites from venom comprise of 7,000 to 8,000 medical incidences yearly. A sting from a box jellyfish on the other hand, can cause fatal cardiac arrest when left untreated. If you think slathering insect repellant is a task you can do away with, think again. Bug lotion actually decreases your chances of being one of the 200+ million malaria victims, annually. The most surprising numbers though in animal attack department comes from the staggering 4.5 million cases that account for dog bites in the U.S. on yearly basis.

DogPrints

You don’t only have to worry about two-legged predators.

Bleach and condoms can secure your water supply

78% of the human body is composed of water; hence you must prioritize this in your ride with the wild side. Should you be in the middle of nowhere and happen to fish a condom out of your bag or pocket, consider yourself lucky. A single condom can hold one-day supply of water. Seek water from springs and even collecting morning dew found in grass. Following grazing animals near dusk and dawn are also ways to get to a place where you can get decent water.

If you are still packing your bug-out pack, bring household bleach with you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you can purify water with using a couple of drops of bleach. Before re-hydration, let the water sit for about 30 minutes to ensure that the bleach has dispersed well.

Want more protein? Try insects

Crazy as it may sound, edible insects are packed with 65-80% protein – a far cry from the 20% protein requirement that beef can give. Not bad for 4 species for every 1 human being, right? If you can go past your food preferences, you’d have more than your fill since insects are easier to hunt and locate. For those who are convinced, a good way to jump-start this emergency food plan is to get your palette acquainted with exotic food finds that have bugs in them. Critters, scorpions and even ants are some of the popular tummy-friendly food choices you can befriend and hopefully, love.

Go for to-go food to set your “Survive and Conquer” mood

Truth be told, food is one thing that even seasoned preppers worry about and seriously work for. While the protein-content of insects sounds inviting, we cannot seem to find the strength and motivation to dig into them. For newbie (and even seasoned) preppers, compact backpacks packed with an ample, generously portioned food kits is a practical, and highly manageable way to be able to survive and conquer the wild. Food not only replenishes the energy we need to run around and stay on top of the game. A totable food storage guarantees a newbie survivalist that while s/he may have to go unimaginable lengths to make it to another day, s/he can find a little time for comfort, and a tiny window to let the stress subside. By seeking the aid of survival food kits, novice preppers would be able to focus more on getting their safety gears in place rather than having to be overwhelmed, and left hanging with the long list of a survivalist’s concerns.

Live the ‘Survive and Conquer’ lifestyle, one day at a time

Being a prepper is no longer confined to people who are building larger than life underground shelters, or those who seriously secure their food storage that will last for more than two decades. Even newbies are now getting the hang of being a prepper as it is transforming into a lifestyle and a necessity; rather than an idea that is far-flung and overrated. These really easy and handy tips that novice preppers can look into and learn from in order to increase their chances of making it through the world of the wild. As newbies, it is best to start with the most basic and most familiar prepping lessons that will make your survival story a more attainable reality.

 

Image Credits:

  1. Alone 5/10 : Kiliii Fish
  2. Who was tracking who? : Viewminder

 

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Where’s Paul Revere When You Need Him?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/29/wheres-paul-revere-need/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/29/wheres-paul-revere-need/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:19:53 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11769 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Over the course of the past 100 years there have been many fundamental changes affecting our society that have crept-in over time, so that they largely go unnoticed to those people who are not paying very close attention to history. And it’s our past that is critical in guiding our future… after all, who wants […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Over the course of the past 100 years there have been many fundamental changes affecting our society that have crept-in over time, so that they largely go unnoticed to those people who are not paying very close attention to history. And it’s our past that is critical in guiding our future… after all, who wants to keep making the same mistakes over and over? What has changed is that an elite-class of ultra-wealthy people are now actually running the show here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, where they are directly and indirectly responsible for the changes that have occurred.

The ‘people’ that I am referring to are not your ‘garden variety’ millionaires; no, these people could buy and sell Internet millionaires like bags of groceries. As a ‘class’ of individuals, these people directly and indirectly own and control hundreds of corporations, including having interests in the Federal Reserve Bank, which is no more ‘Federal’ than the Federal Express.

In the U.S. we consider ourselves technologically advanced; but at what cost? Isn’t it true that for the first time in the history of our Country, Americans are fed a daily stream of ‘information’ that most people accept at face value, without question? How many people actually have the time to check and verify the details of what the various media outlets (TV, Cable, Radio, Internet) are sending into our conscious and unconscious minds? The truth is; very few people actually have the time to dig into details, which in many cases are difficult to find and analyze. How many people have the training and understanding of psychology required to assess the impact of the ubiquitous 24/7 stream of influences that are targeting all of our available senses.

Ever wonder why the greatest wise men and philosophers throughout history would take time away from the masses and go into isolation? …. Sort of a multimedia blackout. The problem with propaganda is that if it gets heard and repeated enough, it becomes the ‘known truth’, even if it may be false. There was a time when the vast majority of people on the planet believed the earth was flat. And even though a few men knew that was not true, and they hesitated disclosing the truth in fear of being ostracized. Nothing has changed today… there are people who know the truth, but having seen how the masses over history respond to the ‘truth’, which may disrupt the status-quo (socially and politically), truths are for the most part, kept under wraps, or stifled by the social-pressure that is prevalent as a result of well ‘designed’ media messaging to the masses.

Today, we are all faced by the fact that we have a government that actually controls us; we no longer have any control or affect over the government, which curiously we ‘elect’, creating the illusion of control for us. Try reaching one your own elected officials and you’ll quickly find out how unimportant you really are to them. Of course during elections, many politicians will assume the ‘act’ of being your best friend.

Back when the United States was a nation of the People, the class of ‘ultra-wealthy elite’ had very little control over the men who founded these United States on ‘moral values’ based upon the fact that they believed they were accountable only to God, having recently escaped the control of the Lords of Europe. Back then, people meant what they said, and slogans like; ‘In God We Trust’ and ‘No Taxation Without Representation’ actually had significant meaning to all of the People of this land.

Today we live in world that is turned on its head; the people who don’t believe in God want to remove all references to God in ‘their’ world even if it deprives others of their religious freedoms. Freedom of speech is tolerated as long as you don’t disagree and as long as it doesn’t offend anyone. We are taxed to the extent that the majority of working American’s are now living from pay-check to pay-check, feeling like indentured slaves to a Government where for all intents and purposes, ‘We The People’ no longer have any effective representation in the government. As soon as the majority of elected officials take office, they begin doing the bidding for the people with all the money; the ‘ultra-wealthy elite’.

Today, the average person doesn’t stand a chance against the ‘system’ that is now firmly in place, and which has been designed and carefully implemented by the class of ultra-wealthy elitists. Again, I am not referring to the people who you may know that are millionaires… I am speaking of men and women who are thousands of times more wealthy and who own the controlling interests in dozens upon dozens of corporations across the globe. These ‘people’ are all about the money and their unseen lifestyles. The people you may have seen showcased on the TV shows like ‘The Rich & The Famous’ are miniscule ‘small time’ players by comparison.

Edward Bernays - the father of public relations. Author of 'Propaganda'

Edward Bernays – the father of public relations. Author of ‘Propaganda’

Some people refer to this ultra-class of elites as the ‘Illuminati’… Quite frankly, while that term serves to conjure some great conspiracy theories, it’s not that complicated. This class of people are only looking to make even more money so they can engage in their games of one-ups-man ship with their peers. The saying in these circles is; ‘too much is not nearly enough’. These people are actually easy to understand if you think like a corporate CEO. Everything they do is about increasing their money and assets; it is the life-blood of their existence and in most case their sole joy in life.

So what does all this have to do with us, you might ask? Simple, as it was in the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs, we are the slaves who make the bricks and tend to their herds of cattle and do a host of other things that they require to enjoy their obscenely decadent lifestyles.

Just 100 years ago in America, most Americans actually worked for themselves. Corporations had not come into their own, yet. If you were the local blacksmith, and I was a rancher (because I truly enjoyed it), I could trade you two dozen eggs to have my plow or wagon fixed. And a farmer could trade a bushel of corn for two dozen chickens, and so forth. Life was based upon pursuing your own life’s dreams and endeavors and there were only a few if any middlemen in most daily transactions. Today, life has changed dramatically, and what’s sad is that few people even realize that it has changed for the worse. The teams of psychologists and social media experts who design the ‘messaging manna’ for the masses (AKA: TV, radio and Internet ads and other propaganda) know how to manipulate most people beyond belief, after all, that is their job. Frankly, it’s so effective that most people don’t even realize they are being manipulated! If they want you to buy a certain car, they design an advertising message complete with visuals that appeals to the standards that have been implanted into your consciousness over time. You see it all the time all around you. For example, some vehicles create a facade of wealth (even when it’s leased or being bought with payments)… we have all seen the Mercedes or Cadillac parked outside a dilapidated home or apartment. Are we now so self-deluded as individuals that we are ‘fulfilled’ by making other people ‘think’ we are rich? Have we become so confused and misled as people that mere ‘illusions’ are now the sustenance of our lives?

You are given the illusion of freedom and of self-choice, but in reality, you are programed from the time you are a child to be a slave (you can’t even leave the U.S. legally without a Passport!). Just look around at all the media inputs into your life. Even the school systems are now part of the ‘designed’ programming, where the schools no longer teach kids and people ‘how to think’ as they did in the past, instead they now teach you ‘what to think’! The introduction of the program known as ‘Common Core’ into our school systems is the last step in a complete program designed to turn-out a new class of modern slaves for the ultra-elite; the new-age Pharaohs. The goal is to develop a new class of working people will actually believe what they are told, regardless of what the truth is, and will do what they are told.

So far, robots who can function in as many capacities as humans are far too cost prohibitive as the laborers needed for the thousands of corporations that are part of assets of the elitists. So, as any good CEO would do, you find a way to gain what you need in a cost-effective manner. Why not make humans into a type of robot? Some people might argue that it cannot be done. However, when you look at the freeways every morning and afternoon, and see the angst that people are feeling, it clear they aren’t doing what ‘they’ want to do… they are ‘under the control of others’. People are fooled into thinking they are working for themselves and their family, but when you do some real soul searching (for those who still have one to search), you quickly realize that you are not following your own path as true human being.

Today Americans are being financially squeezed into taking jobs that are far from ‘fulfilling’, and no matter how you try to rationalize the situation, it stinks. Our government is doing nothing to help the American citizens that have elected it, and that’s not how it is supposed to work according to the U.S. Constitution. Instead, we see a lawless corrupt government that has made life worse for working Americans by opening our borders to anyone who essentially wants to walk across and take a job working for less than an American who is a legal citizen, and at time when jobs are scarce. Of course who benefits from this? The answer is simple… just follow the money… the recent influx of millions of illegal immigrants into the U.S. clearly benefits the ultra-elite who want cheaper labor right here in the U.S.

If you can build a product here in the U.S. for the same price as in China, the shipping costs and import duties suddenly drop to the bottom-line as a ‘profit’.

So what can we do? Are we all just screwed? In the current ‘politically correct’ environment’ where we now find ourselves, it’s hard to find a leader who is tough enough to take the situation in hand and make the changes that would actually benefit Americans. Many politicians are so busy trying to kiss everyone’s backsides and appeal to all potential voters that they are in the end merely diluted-down and meaningless, full of weak compromises and no real solutions. Americans need people who will take a stand and stick to their principles.

As voters during this election, we are now taxed with the job of finding and recruiting some tough men and women who will stay the course for Americans once elected. We need patriotic heroes as our elected politicians now more than ever; let’s replace all of the crooked kiss-ass lawyers who are currently in power who represent the elitists instead of Americans.

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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You Won’t Get to Pick the Disasterhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/28/wont-get-pick-disaster/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/28/wont-get-pick-disaster/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:46:19 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11753 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For all its faults, I still really enjoyed watching Doomsday Preppers from National Geographic. No matter how bizarrely the antics of the preppers who appeared on this show actually were or (in most cases I believe) were framed to heighten the entertainment factor; I was able to pull information from each episode. Each prepper was […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For all its faults, I still really enjoyed watching Doomsday Preppers from National Geographic. No matter how bizarrely the antics of the preppers who appeared on this show actually were or (in most cases I believe) were framed to heighten the entertainment factor; I was able to pull information from each episode. Each prepper was engaged in more or less what I strive to do every day, but with different resources, approaches and rationale. I really only had two complaints with the show and these are admittedly superficial but tainted the overall experience for some people I think. The first was the ratings which improved over time and then were eventually dropped I think this past season. The second was that each prepper had to state what it was they were prepping for as if anything else were to happen outside of their stated concern they wouldn’t know what to do or the preparations they had made to date would be invalid.

The list of items that these preppers had as their reason for prepping wasn’t as unique as I expected but you did get a little variety in there. I think that most of the shows I saw showcased the preppers as preparing for Economic Collapse, but there were a lot of these self-described survivalists who were worried about violent weather, EMP, nuclear war or meltdown of power plants, pandemics, or terrorist attacks. The small minority were theorizing that we would have the Yellowstone super volcano eruption or that the poles would shift.

What are you prepping for?

I probably wouldn’t have been a good candidate for a prepper on Doomsday Preppers for a lot of reasons not the least of which is that I would never go on any show like that, but aside from that detail I don’t have a bunker, I have not purchased an abandoned missile silo (although that would be pretty neat) and I don’t live out in the boonies in a cabin. I also don’t have the resources that a lot of these preppers seem to have to buy tons of gear, create my own apocalypse bus or tank and I personally am not prepping for one specific thing. If Doomsday Preppers asked me what I am prepping for I would have to say I am prepping for anything.

It isn’t that I am like Chicken Little and believe that doom is lurking around every corner but I approach prepping from the standpoint that you need several basic items to live no matter what disaster happens. I think that viewing your prepping strategy from this standpoint will allow you to prepare for more and be more broadly prepared than someone who is just prepping for a single event. I have said this before in other ways but I think the concept is valuable to preppers as they start the process of prepping.

For example, Ebola has been in the news for the last several weeks and anytime there is a perceived crisis like this search engine traffic from people who are looking into the topics of survival and searching for information on how they can be prepared starts to increase at the Prepper Journal. It makes sense that there is more interest because the news didn’t stop talking about the Ebola patient for weeks and then we migrated into the possibility of self-quarantine as the option for people to avoid the disease. Naturally we tried to cover some of these topics on the Prepper Journal as well.

But what about the people who view Ebola as the “Big Thing” they are prepping for? Is it possible that some of these people who were going about their lives happy as a clam before patient zero was found in Dallas but who were momentarily focused like a laser on how to survive Ebola are looking at this all wrong? Could it be that in the rush to prepare for this single potential disaster of an Ebola pandemic that they were missing the bigger picture?

Are you a well-rounded Prepper?

For years I have been prepping for all sorts of different events. If I am being honest I think the most likely man made event could be some form of economic collapse and I am by no stretch alone in that thought. However, what if we don’t have an economic collapse? Will all of my prepping supplies be wasted? Will the time and energy I invested be foolish? Will my family finally get to laugh at me and talk about how silly I was to have Bug Out Bags for all of them or enough food and water to keep my family alive for 6 months?

My family might get to laugh and that is honestly my hope when all is said and done, but I still don’t think that if nothing happens, anything I have done was a waste. I am prepping because I want to take care of my family and that boils down to providing for their needs in a survival situation. It may not be an economic collapse and in reality they might not be in a survival situation necessarily to take advantage of the preparations I have made. It could be a simple winter storm that knocks power out for days. Could we survive a blackout with no preps? Probably, but would we be better off with the backup power we have? Would they be warmer with the alternate sources of heat I have set aside? Would they feel safer with some of the security provisions I have made?

I believe the smarter strategy is to plan to survive regardless of the disaster because we don’t really get a vote. I might not be planning for a flood because I don’t live in a flood plain, but what if some ridiculous weather event caused our town to become flooded? Do you think I would sit back and tell my family too bad? This wasn’t the disaster I had planned for? Maybe I could fashion life preservers from all of the N95 masks and Nitrile gloves we stocked for Ebola?

Five minutes before prom is not the time to learn how to dance.

Call it prepping tunnel vision. I think that is what some people get into without knowing it. If you consume yourself with the most logical threat on your threat matrix you could miss the snowball rolling down the hill that will kill you. I know that some people who for example live near a nuclear power plant are planning for a meltdown, but what if that doesn’t happen and what you are really faced with is a pandemic? Sure the plant could eventually meltdown, but you might have more to worry about in the short-term from a tiny virus than that big nuclear plant.

Reacting to news events is normal and part of me does the same thing to some degree. I use these events in the news to spur me to action, but it isn’t like I haven’t been prepping all along. I might re-inventory my stocks, but the next crisis isn’t making me go out to the store to begin working on my food storage plan. The next threat of social unrest won’t prompt me to think about securing my home or defending it. I guess what I am trying to say is keep your eyes on the larger goal of keeping you and your family alive regardless of the crisis that appears. No matter what you think could happen, you need to be prepared for what does happen and no amount of planning for specific disasters will work as well as a broad-based plan for survival regardless of the disaster. Plan for surprises because you and I both might be surprised at what eventually happens. Will your preps keep you alive no matter what?

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A Compact 7-Day Food Reserve for 2 Peoplehttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/27/compact-7-day-food-reserve-2-people/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/27/compact-7-day-food-reserve-2-people/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 20:27:46 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11742 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Freeze-dried foods have a place in a lot of preppers pantry’s for a lot of good reasons. For starters, the food is prepackaged in one to two serving pouches. They only need hot water and a few minutes to give you a warm and tasty meal. Freeze dried food doesn’t take up a lot of […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Freeze-dried foods have a place in a lot of preppers pantry’s for a lot of good reasons. For starters, the food is prepackaged in one to two serving pouches. They only need hot water and a few minutes to give you a warm and tasty meal. Freeze dried food doesn’t take up a lot of space and it is relatively light – I use it when camping and lastly, it will keep for over 10 years! For these reasons and more, I have my own supply of freeze dried foods.

 

Mountain House is the brand I am most familiar with and when Nitro-Pak, “America’s Foremost Preparedness Food and Gear Company” offered to send me some of their food to review, I took them up on it. In this instance it was their Mountain House Deluxe Security Pak which has enough food to feed two people for 7 days. The price is very reasonable and Nitro-Pak had my order out within days.

The contents of the Security Pak are:

Dinner Entrées
1 Chicken ala King
1 Hearty Stew with Beef
1 Chicken Teriyaki with Rice
1 Beef Stroganoff
1 Turkey Tetrazzini
1 Sweet & Sour Pork with Rice
1 Chili Mac with Beef

Dinner Side Dishes
3 Sweet Garden Peas
2 Super Sweet Corn
2 Cut Green Beans

Dinner Desserts
4 Raspberry Crumble
4 Apple Crisp

Lunch Snacks
14 Freeze Dried Neapolitan Ice Cream Bars
1 Pilot Bread Crackers (#10 can)

Breakfast Entrées
4 Pre-Cooked Eggs with Bacon
10 Blueberry Granola with Real Milk

They came in a total of 50 different pouches (the ice cream was in its own box) and one #10 can for the crackers. The storage life on the can is longer than the pouches but even at 10 years that is an incredible option to have that you don’t need to worry about.

My favorite meal is the Chili Mac with Beef for dinner and I love taking that camping with me. I usually pack a couple of those and for breakfast my new favorite is the Breakfast Skillet. Fills me up and it tastes great too. It is so much more delicious when the air is cold and you are eating by a fire in the woods.

Freeze Dried foods as part of your Survival food plan

Now I mentioned that I have freeze dried food, I also have bulk foods like Hard Red Winter wheat stored in buckets as well as rice, sugar, salt and honey to name a few. This along with the regular food in our pantry gives us a wide variety of foods that we can eat. The advantage of freeze dried foods from companies like Nitro-Pak are the long shelf life and the worry free ease. I just order a box when I have some money and I know the food will be stored properly to last, freeing me up to work on other preps and it will taste great!

Of course, I am a guy who was in the Army so you might have to take someone else’s opinion on the taste but lets just be clear about freeze dried foods and state the obvious.  This is not gourmet food. If you are expecting the same savory goodness from your grandmother’s table, well you need to adjust your expectations. Storable food like Mountain House does an amazing job of giving you high quality food but it isn’t fresh from the garden or fridge. The ingredients will store for 10 years giving you potentially lifesaving food that you can put in a closet and forget until you need it. It won’t be the same as eating a home-cooked meal full of fresh ingredients but in my opinion they are far superior to MRE’s or survival rations. It leaves a little to be desired as far as appearances, but I think they taste great.

I know that my family likes them too which is important to consider when it comes to feeding people after a crisis. The last thing you want is kids that are complaining because they are tired of rice and beans (yes I know) when you could easily give them something they do like.

If you are looking to round out your long term storable food options and are considering freeze dried I would highly recommend Mountain House for their quality and their flavor as well as Nitro-Pak for their service. I am sure you won’t be disappointed in either.

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Plan To Survive: The Tactics Of Livinghttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/27/plan-survive-tactics-living/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/27/plan-survive-tactics-living/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 13:07:30 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11732 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

When you read the various Prepper and Survival blogs and comments on Prepping, it’s hard to avoid the constant chatter about guns and defensive warfare… Hollywood has done an excellent job of glamorizing the use of guns and warfare to the point where some people actually believe that by simply owning lots of guns their […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

When you read the various Prepper and Survival blogs and comments on Prepping, it’s hard to avoid the constant chatter about guns and defensive warfare… Hollywood has done an excellent job of glamorizing the use of guns and warfare to the point where some people actually believe that by simply owning lots of guns their problems will be mitigated. And nothing could be farther from the truth!

What’s even more interesting is that some of these same people own scoped rifles that aren’t even sighted-in! And if you were at a shooting range and handed them a rifle that was all dialed-in, they couldn’t put a single round on the paper (target) down-range under ideal circumstances, let alone if they were in crisis-mode.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I am 100% for the Second Amendment and the right to own and bear arms. I own guns myself and I grew-up shooting and hunting for food in the mountains of Southern Oregon.

It seems however that there are a few people who think that survival (Prepping) is all about owning lots of guns and paramilitary training and tactics. And it’s my opinion that these beliefs are based upon defective logic when it comes to the primary objective of Prepping, which is survival, as in ‘staying alive‘ long-term.

If any given Prepper truly believes that there are bona-fide risks to their families and friends, which might stem from any one of a host of credible natural and made-caused disasters, then taking a purely logical approach to minimizing those perceived risks requires that Preppers must do what is necessary at the moment such action becomes necessary. This of course requires a plan of action that is in-place, as well as the equipment, supplies and tactics that support such an action.

Any tactics supporting any plan that increases potential risks for casualties are defective, because it violates the core objective; ‘don’t get dead’.

The superior plan of action is the one that removes as much risk as humanly possible. When you compromise this logic, you also compromise your odds of ‘staying alive’.

Almost anyone with a minimum of training using even marginal equipment can survive off the grid and in the wilderness for a week or even two. How well you fare in such matters will depend greatly upon your fitness, training, experience and the type, amount and quality of the equipment you employ.

However, when you are forced to survive for months and possibly years totally ‘off the grid‘, that’s a whole different subject and few people have the know-how based upon the actual experience that is required to help others prepare for such a challenge.

Few of the so-called ‘experts’ who are providing information into the Prepper community have themselves actually survived off-the-grid in remote locations for many months at a time. And having never been in that kind of a situation, they have no first-hand knowledge or appreciation of what the long-term challenges actually are, let alone the solutions. Surely some of these experts are making many assumptions and educated guesses.

BearGryllsElephantOther experts focus on short-term survival; I recall an episode of Bear Grylls where he is shown squeezing the liquid out of Elephant dung into his mouth as a means of obtaining water in survival mode. Of course he has the ability to check into a hospital after the show to deal with all the micro-organisms that would readily sicken him, and if left unchecked, potentially kill him in the long-term. These are not the kind of methods that will serve most Preppers very well, but are taught in some military survival courses.

Most if not all expert advisers naturally teach what they know best; hopefully based upon their own actual experience. There are a few so-called experts who are writing books and posting information on Blogs who have very little if any actual meaningful or relevant experience.

Should other Preppers be making critical plans and adopting tactics based upon the guesswork of someone else, who may have only read some books?

Living ‘off the grid’ at a farm or ranch is really not ‘survival experience‘. I am not saying that the experience gained from such a lifestyle is not relevant or beneficial, in fact it is. However, in the case of remote rural living, when a problem or need is encountered, you have the option of driving into town or reaching-out for what you need using the telephone (on our ranch, we would even occasionally ride our horses into town for supplies).

However, as in an actual disaster, where logistical support and travel is cut-off, an Expedition Sailor has no such options. That’s because when an Expedition Sailor has a problem, it is serious since he/she may be hundreds of miles (by sea) away from any outside help (medical, parts, tools, expertise, equipment, etc.). This mandates that Expedition Sailors must be self-reliant in real-life on a daily basis, long-term. It’s not some theoretical or academic exercise, it’s for all the marbles. When you are at sea or anchored at some remote location, separated from the nearest land by water, you can only look to yourself for solutions. This also means having planned ahead in provisioning all the ‘right stuff’ on-board the boat, before leaving port. This is what prepping on land is about; having all the ‘right stuff’ before a disaster hits.

There are some survival experts who have gained their ‘survival’ experience from duty in the military. To make my position crystal-clear; I have the utmost respect and appreciation for our military men and women (my son-in-law is a serving U.S. Marine and we are very proud of him). Some former military personnel who are now advising Preppers tend to teach/preach what they know best….guns, ammo and military tactics. And a few of these ’experts’ seem to universally fail to acknowledge or even recognize that their success in the field was the result of the guy on the right and on the left, and the extensive training that they all had received in combination with the team of people in the rear, who were providing and fulfilling all kinds of support missions. Preppers will not have access to that training or the specialized training environment, nor the logistics support that is provided by the military.

A few former military operators who have become ‘experts’ on Prepping fail to continue to appreciate that every bullet, MRE, stitch of clothing, intel, transportation and mechanical support that supported their operations in the field were provided by many other trained people in the rear. And without these mission support personnel, the operators on the front line and down range wouldn’t fair nearly as well as they do in achieving their military objectives. There are exceptions of course in that there are Special Forces who through highly advanced training programs can and do improvise and adapt in the field down-range (damn few!). Here again, Preppers will not have access to anything close that level of training and experience, as it was provided by the military and designed to train those personnel, who were already pre-qualified, screened and selected for that specialized training. In the world of civilian survival and prepping, it’s the Prepper who has to understand and incorporate many mission skills and parameters into their own survival paradigm. If you don’t, you will likely fail.

Nobody has all the answers and no one particular survival paradigm is perfect for everyone. Each Prepper needs to identify his own potential problems and goals and then using the best information from many reliable sources, form a custom survival paradigm to suit.

It’s extremely important to maintain a clear understanding of the vast differences between ‘military objectives’ and the tactics and training to achieve those objectives, and ‘Prepper objectives‘, which are purely related to ‘staying alive’ and long-term disaster survival. Any form of combat, at any level, will lead to casualties on ‘both’ sides of the conflict.

Aside from being fully prepped (supplies, equip, etc.), the most logical approach to survival is to plan to avoid risk when the SHTF.

Should a major large-scale disaster occur, one that may for instance take the entire U.S. electrical grid down, or some other catalyst that would cause a collapse of the supply-chain infrastructure (food, fuel and supplies into cities), there will be masses (in some areas millions) of Un-Prepped people that will be dislocated from the cities and towns and who will relocate themselves to the rural areas in search of resources (food, water, etc.).

Many of these un-prepped survivors (keep in mind, we are talking about millions of people) will be armed and desperate. If Preppers attempt to shelter in place within range of these survivors, regardless of the preps and tactics used, they will likely be ultimately overcome by their sheer numbers. Any argument to the contrary is simply illogical (none of us are John. J. Rambo). If you truly want to survive (as in ’staying alive’), then a realistic relocation plan is of paramount importance.

The thousands (and more) of un-prepared and desperate survivors who will be migrating outward from towns/cities during post-disaster conditions are what some Preppers refer to as ‘Zombies’; I call them the ‘Un-Prepped’. These are the people who are post-disaster survivors and through their desperation pose a real danger to others, akin to a drowning man who will quickly push another person under the water in his desperate attempt to survive.

So what are the legitimate options?

First of all, 24/7 situational awareness is absolutely key for people living in the cities, given that relocation may only be possible just before any disaster/event and/or immediately after (within minutes). If you are already living off-grid in a remote area, you are in the best situation and have much more time to consider the situation as it unfolds.

Second, you’ll need a re-location plan in place that will get you to a prepped facility that is at a secure distance from migrating masses, as in ‘out of reach‘ and remote. Distance is your ally, since many Un-Prepped survivors will be on-foot (vehicles will be grid-locked, fuel will be unavailable), and they can only walk about 10-20 miles in a day. Doing the math, and giving them the benefit of the doubt, the average ‘Un-Prepped’ may be able to travel as far as 2-3 days away from any towns/cities. This gives an effective maximum ‘Un-Prepped Radius’ of about 60 miles (maybe more) from any towns/cities. Therefore, I would expect that if your relocation facility was 75-150 miles away from the nearest major town/city, you would minimize possible contact with the Un-Prepped, and thereby minimize your risks of dealing with these desperate people.

Clearly, there is still some vulnerability being on land. This stems from the fact that some Un-Prepped may nonetheless reach your position on foot, and possibly using vehicles. The ones who reach your location will likely be the most resourceful of the Un-Prepped, since they will have obviously survived the initial chaos and made it out of the towns/cities, and likely have already engaged in lethal combat.

Being under-siege in a fixed location can be a real problem and due to the duration of such sieges, some fixed position facilities ultimately fall. It’s a function of how well prepared you are as compared to the threat that is presented by any hostile force.

There is also another option that is best suited for those people who are living in, or close to a city on the coast, which precludes the need for potential defensive combat and the risks posed by the Un-Prepped.

Bugging-Out in comfort on a boat is a very realistic solution for some people. In fact, Expedition Sailors such as myself do it for fun and have done it for many years with our families, friends and pets! It is for this reason that I have written the book, The Nautical Prepper.

Once you leave port and are over the horizon heading to a preselected safe destination, you are out of sight and out of mind, leaving 99.99% of everyone else in the city behind competing for the dwindling resources. The risks at sea and at a preselected remote location (island with zero or limited population) are far less than those that must be endured long-term on the continent in and around cities. Of course this paradigm may not be suitable for many people, for a host of reasons.

Over the course of several decades, among other commercial marine operations, I have personally handled all of the logistics, planning, engineering and operations, including the customization of the vessels that were required for two separate multi-year sailing expeditions that each covered thousands of miles at sea. Each of these expeditions ultimately required that I provide all of the know-how that allowed my family (wife, two children and two dogs) and I to successfully reach distant remote locations and then live off the grid at uninhabited desert islands in the Sea of Cortez.

The success of these long-range multi-year expeditions was not by chance. The technical know-how that I have accumulated over decades involves detailed knowledge of many disciplines, including but not limited to:

Power collection, generation and storage systems, communications and navigation systems, meteorology, water production-collection and storage systems, provisioning, food storage and long-term field supplementation, life support and safety systems, security, defense systems and tactics, surveillance and counter-surveillance, sanitation systems, equipment and clothing for personnel, advanced first-aid and medical supplies. And all the tools, parts and supplies to maintain and repair all mission critical equipment, which must function long-term as they must in any ‘Prepper’ survival mission.

TheNauticalPrepperThe bottom line is this:

When you have actually lived and survived off the grid long-term in challenging conditions you learn what works and what doesn’t work, and I have certainly earned some of that knowledge, by ‘living the preps‘. It would be a huge mistake for Preppers to learn the hard lessons under actual survival-disaster conditions.

For example; equipment fails over time; some much sooner than others and you have to know in advance which equipment is best and why…that knowledge only comes from actual use over time in the field. Morale is another critical matter in both short-term and long-term survival and through actual experience many lessons are learned and genuine solutions have been developed.

My book ‘The Nautical Prepper‘ contains decades of experience that have been distilled down to some of the key lessons and elements that will provide land-based Preppers with many practical ideas and concepts that will certainly improve any existing land-based survival paradigm.

Regardless of your plans and preps, I wish everyone the very best.

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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What Does Your Prepping-Life Balance Look Like?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/25/prepping-life-balance-look-like/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/25/prepping-life-balance-look-like/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 18:36:07 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11724 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I was driving around the other day listening to a podcast that I enjoy. The host as usual was covering a wide range of topics and began to list for the millionth time a lot of things that I am personally concerned about. Without getting into too many specifics; events such as our economy, relationship […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I was driving around the other day listening to a podcast that I enjoy. The host as usual was covering a wide range of topics and began to list for the millionth time a lot of things that I am personally concerned about. Without getting into too many specifics; events such as our economy, relationship with Russia, eroding freedoms, growing police state, the threat of Ebola, chemical bombardment of our bodies from our food and water, the open borders and a million other side topics seem to be coming at us constantly. The noise from all of these events, if you are paying attention and not losing yourself in other distractions, can sometimes give me a headache. There seems to be so much happening right now in our lives. It feels like we are speeding towards some catastrophe ahead at breakneck speed. I can’t visualize what it is or how it will appear, but I know it is coming. I swear I feel it in my bones.

Am I being paranoid? Maybe, but I like to consider myself a rational, grounded person. I know, what crazy person thinks they are crazy, right? Well maybe I am but I go through my daily life without any breakdowns. I have a wonderful family, a great job, plenty of friends and I feel good about my life. How can I feel good about my life when I just said that I feel like we are speeding towards catastrophe? There are several things that I think make this possible and I will try to lay them out in a coherent way here, but at the end of the day I think it comes down to having a good prepping-life balance.

You have no doubt heard the term work-life balance to describe the proper prioritization between what you do to pay the bills (work or career) and the rest of your life that isn’t devoted to bringing home the bacon. For years companies and the consultants who make money selling their advice to companies have said that “people” want a good work-life balance. This I believe is just a fancy way for saying they don’t want to work too hard or long. A proper work-life balance would seem to be that you didn’t even feel like you were working at all. To this end companies have offered thousands of programs like bringing in lunch, adding gyms to the facilities and offering daycare for your children for free. This side of the work-life balance is to the company’s favor in that you will work more because they are keeping you at the facility for some of the lifestyle things you would normally need to leave for. OK they aren’t completely evil and I have to give them credit for making some concessions like this. They know that happy employees are productive employees and this turns into all sorts of advantages for the company.

What are you focused on?

But on top of providing perks to their employees in the way of lunches, fitness facilities, rides to work etc. Some companies have instituted programs that allow you to take a couple of weeks off a year to go work with your favorite charity or one day each week to spend working on anything you want that isn’t related to your job. The conventional wisdom is that we are happier when we work on things that we really feel connected to and by giving their employees time off to find their happiness they will return refreshed and focus more on the work they were hired to do.

But what the heck does this have to do with Prepping? There were a couple of things that prompted these thoughts. One of them was that I was reflecting on all we do as preppers and how easy it is to get caught up in the news of the day. Listening to the news reports constantly rehashing from every angle the threats to our families, begins building these items into that list we all keep in the back of our minds. You have one too probably. That list of threats or concerns that we preppers itemize as easily as our weekend chores, occupies a percentage of my focus. At least it does in my case and each time there is another news story that starts to push at my prepper buttons by making me think about prepping supplies I still need to acquire or refresh. The reminders of that training that I need to schedule time off work to do bends my daily focus tends towards the prepping side of my prepping-life balance. In other words, I think much more about prepping sometimes to the detriment of the rest of my life and it isn’t reserved for when I am off work. It is like they are all competing for my attention. Prepping-life-work balance.

Remember to take time and spend it on what is most important.

Remember to take time and spend it on what is most important.

Another person reminded me of this recently when a reader of our blog, C.Love asked me a question about budgeting. His question was really about how much of your money would you budget for prepping, but it made me think of how much time should you budget as well and how together these two items if not kept in check could upset your own prepping-life balance. It was a good question because I started thinking about my own prepping habits for lack of a better word and how much of my money and time were spent on this thing we call prepping.

Getting back to my earlier point about how I believe I have a good prepping-life balance I say that because even though I know there are things out there to worry about, I am not truly worried. For me I try to remember the following things:

Have hopeAbove all I have hope that even though I sense something bad in the future, we will be able to ride it out. We as a family will survive and that is why I am prepping. I am not prepping to die, I am prepping to live and that is my goal.

Appreciate the life you have now – By this I mean you have to take time and love on the people you love. It is so easy to be consumed by prepping for this disaster or planning for some other crisis. You are probably planning because you don’t want anyone you love to be hurt, right? Well take a day off and go spend time with these people you are prepping for. Go help someone you don’t even know, give some of your time off to a person who could use some help. Listen to your kids tell you about their day – all day.

Take care of the basics – Prepping for me boils down to simple things. The rest of it is window dressing but the core requirements for survival through almost anything are water, food, shelter and security. Once you have the basics covered relax a little and work on the rest as you can. Prepping isn’t a race and even though I swear it feels like something bad is just around the next corner, if I am being honest it has felt like that for 7 years. The impending sense of doom is one of the things that drives me to prep and hopefully keeps my guard up but I don’t need to spend time everyday working on my preps.

Whatever happens will happen – Lastly, I try to have the outlook on life that we are all small pieces in this giant universe and whatever is going to happen will happen no matter what you do. There are some things I will just let roll off my back because I can’t do anything to affect them. I do try to take care of the things in my sphere of influence but the rest is out of my control. If you have a plan and supplies to take care of your family you can relax in some ways knowing that you have taken care of part of your prepping needs.

I think if I can keep those things in the front of my mind, I will continue to be happy with my life and hopefully my family will too. I have prepping supplies, but not everything I would like or think I need. I am confident I can take care of my family, but I don’t know all the threats out there. I am concerned on one hand about the future, but I know that when the time comes I will just play my role in whatever is supposed to happen. I know that each and every one of us goes through storms in life, but until that day comes I will enjoy the sun. I still prepare, but I am going to keep living too because that is what I want to have my family remember about me and life is what I want to share with them.

How’s your prepping-life balance?

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Can The U.S. Government Protect Americans From Ebola?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/24/can-u-s-government-protect-americans-ebola/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/24/can-u-s-government-protect-americans-ebola/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:06:29 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11715 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

This is the question that is central to the notion that Americans should seriously consider taking their own steps on a personal level to protect themselves should an epidemic begin. We now learn that a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Africa and who had recently returned to New York had violated known protocol and […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

This is the question that is central to the notion that Americans should seriously consider taking their own steps on a personal level to protect themselves should an epidemic begin.

We now learn that a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Africa and who had recently returned to New York had violated known protocol and was touring the city while he was infected. According to the New York Daily News, after frequenting several public areas (bowling, etc), using the trains and taxis, he was finally ‘hauled-off’ in a HAZMAT suit to Bellevue Hospital. How does this happen?

We know this much for a fact; if the situation worsens in America and Ebola starts spreading, quarantining the infected may only get us so far, even though the concept of ‘isolation’ is relevant. The key question is what is the most effective protection for Americans should things spiral out of control?

As we see, trusting others, even some doctors leads to risks; they are only people and in the end not everyone can be trusted to do the right thing all the time.

What about protecting Americans by isolating the healthy?

This is a strategy that many Americans can implement and control themselves, IF they are properly prepared well in advance of the onset of any epidemic and the panic that will no doubt ensue in such an event. In the event of an epidemic of any deadly virus, including Ebola, Americans could choose to just stay at home until the risks from public areas are cleared.

Being properly prepared means; having enough water, food, medicine and other needed supplies set aside at home, which allows individuals the option to stay at home for as long as necessary to allow an epidemic to burn itself out in the immediate area (could be several months).

If an epidemic should ensue, many forms of transportation will likely be severely limited, and this coupled with isolating the healthy, as well as quarantining the infected, may be one aspect of a total strategy that should be considered and openly proposed by the government (inform Americans to accumulate supplies needed to implement an ‘isolation strategy’ of the healthy). This, along with severe limits on intercontinental and regional travel may be the ultimate solution.

Let’s hope that someone wises up in time to save America from a possible Ebola epidemic.

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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How Will I Know When the SHTF?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/23/how-will-i-know-when-the-shtf/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/23/how-will-i-know-when-the-shtf/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:00:53 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11705 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’. ‘When the SHTF you better be prepared’! If you have been anywhere near prepping, survival, self-sufficiency or emergency preparedness content, movies, TV shows, books or […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’. ‘When the SHTF you better be prepared’! If you have been anywhere near prepping, survival, self-sufficiency or emergency preparedness content, movies, TV shows, books or blogs, you have heard someone say a sentence that went roughly like one of those above.

Do you know what everyone means by SHTF?

Just in case there are some of you out there who do not know what this handy little acronym stands for, it is S**t Hits The Fan. When the SHTF basically all hell breaks loose. The exact meaning of SHTF varies by person and sometimes SHTF is used interchangeably with TEOTWAWKI. As in ‘If there is an EMP device exploded over the US it would be TEOTWAWKI’. TEOTWAWKI is another acronym for The End of The World As We Know It which is also used to describe a million different things to different people. One thing we do know though is that when it comes to SHTF or TEOTWAWKI they both mean that bad things happen and most likely our lives will be changed dramatically in some way for some period of time.

I think one of the aspects of prepping has to be with an eye toward a SHTF type of event. We prepare for minor inconveniences like being stranded on the side of the road, or living without power for a couple of days, but with relatively simple steps these two examples are by themselves minor in the grand scheme of things. If you have prepared, there is really nothing to worry about if the power is out. Will you have to adjust and make do? Probably but if you have prepared for a power outage the adjustment could be very minor. Would you be inconvenienced? Most likely, but you will survive.

Most preppers I have talked to are at some point along an arc of preparedness. (I am copyrighting that phrase right now) One end of the arc is no preparedness at all. The other end of the arc is our individual version of being totally prepared or at least extremely prepared. I say extremely prepared because like I have written before; I don’t believe you can ever finish prepping. There should be a point when you are pretty darn set though when you compare yourself to the rest of the world.

The prepared end of the arc is our supplies, skills and gear for really bad things. This is the SHTF that people are preparing for and it is this concept that many are striving for all along. To be actually prepared as well as possible to handle or maybe more accurately, live through a SHTF event. Our preps would ideally help make that possible. The prepared end of the arc deals with Long-term and abundant food storage, plentiful and renewable sources of water, shelter from the elements while at home or in a bug out scenario and survival firearms for each member of your group. Personally, I don’t want to ever need to use my supplies on the ‘Prepared’ end of the Arc but they are there if the time comes.

What does SHTF look like?

And so we get to the big question that I have heard asked a million times. Well, not a million but a lot and that is ‘How will I know when the SHTF’? How will I know when it’s time to bug out and move our family out of harm’s way? How will I know when I need to hunker down, board up the windows and keep watch overnight? The reason so many people want to know this is that they don’t want to be caught unaware. You don’t want to be the last person trying to get out of your town before the roads are too clogged with traffic, or the one who shows up at the grocery store after they have taken everything except the mops back in housewares. Anyone who is prepping for SHTF is doing so because we want to avoid it as much as possible so knowing how to identify the actual moment that the S**T Hits the Fan is pretty important.

The problem is that unless we are talking about huge, cataclysmic national events, defining the moment that it happens is too late is difficult across the scale of everyone in the country. If a huge terrorist attack happens in Los Angeles California but nowhere else, would you as someone living in Las Vegas do anything besides watch the news? If a nuclear bomb went off in New York, would you as someone living in Tennessee go anywhere? I think the answer to almost any situation where we are asking if the SHTF moment has arrived is unfortunately, ‘It depends’.

What does this event mean to me?

There is a famous Supreme Court case, Jacobellis V. Ohio in which the subject was a movie that had been deemed obscene. The movie theater owner who showed the movie had been convicted and his case made it to the Supreme Court where Justice Potter Stewart, in his concurrence with the other judges ruling for overthrowing the case, said with respect to hard core pornography, “I know it when I see it”. There are other details which you can read here, but the point I am trying to make is that there is no universal SHTF moment or series of actions. You can’t point to a terrorist attack and say that for everyone it is a SHTF moment. Now, it most certainly will be for people involved in the event and surrounding areas of course but it may not impact you at all. If it does however, you will most likely know it when you see it.

Well, thanks Pat that wasn’t helpful at all! Maybe you were hoping I would give you a checklist of items to look for to determine when the S had actually HTF? OK, I can do that but each of these would be examples that have to be taken in context. All of that would also need to be considered with your own personal situation. Some items to look for:

  • Loss of Electricity on a regional scale for more than one week
  • Media blackout
  • Martial law declared
  • Door to door gun confiscations – yes they have happened before.
  • Stock Market takes a dive of 10% and they halt trading the next day.
  • Bank holidays are declared and you are not allowed to remove money from your bank. If you are you are limited to a small amount.
  • Attack on US soil – This would be most likely blamed on terrorists of one shape or another
  • Virus outbreak rates that continue to go higher and occurrences start to increase in your city.
  • EMP device that causes massive power outages (multi-state)
  • Nuclear reactor meltdown
  • Natural disasters that impact you locally (fires, tsunami, hurricane, flood, etc.)

These are all examples that in the right context could be signs that we are in a SHTF moment. On the other hand, some of these could be single events that for a large part do not impact you or your family. I have said before that everything depends on the disaster and if something like this is happening to you, in your town things may be totally different from others across the country not affected. Naturally a stock market collapse or EMP doesn’t fall into that category but regional issues would. I always advocate watching the news media – not to hear about the latest starlet who is acting trashy but to get a feel for what is going on in the world. Maintain an active awareness of the news and be prepared to act fast if you get wind of events that you are considering as being a real SHTF event for you.

Will there be a national SHTF event? Who knows? It could be that we have minor SHTF events that happen to us and that doesn’t make them any less real or dire. You could have your own personal TEOTWAWKI moment that doesn’t impact anyone else and you will still need to react.

I believe we have an intuition but we have to tune ourselves to hear it. I think one aspect of that intuition is what prompted me to begin prepping and I believe that for many others out there you have that same feeling. That small voice telling you to prepare; that gut instinct that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. When it comes to your town, I think you will know it when you see it if you are prepared to look for it. Don’t expect the news, FEMA, your governor or me or any so-called expert in the world to tell you when it’s time to go. You will be able to make that decision for yourself.

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How to Find Other Preppers In Your Areahttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/22/find-other-preppers/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/22/find-other-preppers/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:25:11 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11684 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you believe that you are Rambo and plan to survive whatever the world throws at you with nothing more than a big survival knife and some weapons you pull off unsuspecting sheriff deputies who were foolish enough to follow you when you bug out into the woods… this post might not be for you. […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you believe that you are Rambo and plan to survive whatever the world throws at you with nothing more than a big survival knife and some weapons you pull off unsuspecting sheriff deputies who were foolish enough to follow you when you bug out into the woods… this post might not be for you. For a lot of the rest of us out here, there is an understood advantage to forming a larger prepping group. You can see the value in a team of people who share the common goal of survival and you realize the wisdom in pooling your resources with a group of individuals who are able to mutually benefit each other in a time of crisis.

The only problem is how to find other preppers near you without possibly ruining any OPSEC you have tried to maintain or by looking desperate.

A reader name Mike sent the following question:

“I am from Truckee CA. and am trying to find other preppers in the Truckee area. The Truckee community seems like they are all using social networks ??? I do not use social networks (too easy to be tracked by the government) any suggestions how I can meet other preppers ???”

Mike mentions that he realizes that people in the prepping community are using social networks but he, like a lot of others doesn’t feel comfortable using them himself. I certainly don’t blame him but I think there are some ways that our modern communication options and yes social media too can be leveraged that would limit your exposure. I am fully aware that the NSA is spying on every single digital piece of our lives so if you aren’t comfortable using social media you should stay off.

Why would you want to meet others?

There is strength in numbers so a larger survival group is going to be able to do more. With more people you have more ideas, more resources, more skills, more intuition, perspective and wisdom. Of course all of those things could be negatives too if personalities clash or if you and your MAG (Mutual Assistance Group) disagrees and you are on the losing side of a particular issue. If there were a true disaster you could wind up in worse shape if your group turns on you so this is one aspect of prepping that deserves a lot of careful research and contemplation.

There are whole books devoted to forming the perfect survival group and how to conduct things like decision-making (who gets to make them) and the creation of rules, a governing body, types of social order and that is beyond the scope of this post. Any group can have good points and bad points, but I think the generally accepted belief is that you would be better off in a group of your choosing now before any crisis than on your own after a crisis. The trick is to choose wisely.

So where would you start in the process of looking for a place to find other preppers? There are some obvious ones and not so obvious ones but I would probably think that finding a responsible mature survival group would not be as simple as searching on a website.

Start out looking for a good friend, not a whole group.

Start out looking for a good friend, not a whole group.

There are websites out there that seem devoted to matching you up with a prepper group. Sites like prepperlink.com and ITS Tactical have forums devoted to helping you find a prepping buddy where you can usually search by location. The idea is that you go into your state, announce yourself as looking for a group and then everyone will talk to you about their group, but I see a few problems with this approach. First, the ideal survival group would have to be on that forum you are looking through, want to talk to you, and on top of that, currently accepting other people. It is really hit or miss.

Never kiss on the first date

There are other websites out there like MeetUp.com which I think are a little more promising. I have used Meetup.com to find a prepping group near me and attended meetings. This group was not what I would call a MAG, but they might grow into that over time. They have regular meetings and are a good place to meet like-minded people. Every time they met there were topics around prepping, survival or self-sufficiency covered. In a setting like this you aren’t really there to specifically join a survival group, but you are interested in what they are saying. I am sure that some of the people were actually involved together but the meetings were much more informal, anyone could join and was probably a way for them to vet members before they approached them. Actually, the Meet Up I attended could have had multiple separate groups and I wouldn’t have known.

For me personally in looking for a survival group I am not so much looking for a group, but looking for people. Each person in the group is going to be someone you trust with your life. If there is no trust, then why join anyone? This may be something that you need to build over time by talking to the most logical choices out there; your friends and family. If you don’t have some friends who share the same beliefs as you, why are you hanging around them?

In all my time as a prepper I don’t know that I have ever been completely transparent with anyone about my motivations, fears and plans for prepping besides my wife. Actually, you the audience of the Prepper Journal are probably more privy to my thoughts than even my wife so in some ways you are my Mutual Assistance Group. You wouldn’t be at my home if the grid went down, but I have learned so much from our readers and from the other blogs in the prepping community. This type of transparency that I discuss about myself and my plans is not what you want to bring to the table on your first meeting with others. I think most of you play your prepping close to the vest too which as it turns out could work in your favor. I know that in specific instances as the case allowed I was able to share information about me that could be common to prepping but it could also fall into other categories. I don’t wear my I’m a Prepper t-shirt into work or anything like that but I have talked to co-workers on occasion as current events brought various topics to the front of conversation.

If you have friends or acquaintances you don’t have to bring up the subject of prepping at all to get a feel generally for how they perceive the world. You could discuss the recent Ebola news to gauge the level of preparedness in some people. You could talk to others about the stock market. Still others you could simply talk about hunting or shooting sports, even gardening or canning. I think the easiest group to join is the one you are already in but maybe those around you don’t have any concept of a Survival Group. Maybe they are looking too?

Do you have friends who share hobbies with you? Do you have family members that you talk to about news and your plans in certain scenarios? This is where I would start because you have a built-in level of comfort with them even on the most basic level. It is certainly better than walking into a room full of strangers or telling everyone on a forum (that anyone can see) what your plans are and where you are living. If you do want to go down that road I would make the following suggestions.

  • If you are using the internet know that what you type could potentially be seen so I would be as anonymous as possible.
  • If you want to check out forums to see if there is anyone in your area that looks promising, sign up with a fake account. Make sure this fake account uses completely fictional information about yourself to include your name, birthday and location. Write it down so you don’t forget what your fake birthday is if they ask for that. Most just want an email and password.
  • Get a new email address that does not have your name in it. Sure, Google or anyone else could find out who you are but if your email is fuzzynavel8141@gmail.com it is better than jerimiah.johnson@gmail.com. This will give you some anonymity from the people you are contacting, not the NSA.
  • Don’t offer up too much information. I would start generally asking questions, but non-invasive questions. You could say you are looking for a group and maybe what your skills are and the general location you live in. See how the conversation progresses. If nobody responds you don’t have your details out there for anyone to read.
  • If you do make contact it might make sense to take anything further offline as much as possible. You can trade emails and take your conversations off the forum. They are still electronic but not out there for everyone to see.
  • I would never use Facebook to look for a survival group. Just forget that.
  • Try MeetUp.com and search for prepper groups or survival or self-reliant living. Go to some meetings and get to know people for a while to see if you have any affinity with anyone there. You might be surprised.
  • Take your time and look at this like dating, sorta. You want a great relationship to blossom here, not a one night stand that you regret. Good things take time and this is no exception. A survival group conveys a huge commitment and an even larger level of trust so make sure you know why you are making the decisions and that the people you are making them with are sound.
  • Try looking for friends first who share your same beliefs and values as opposed to a whole group. One die-hard buddy is worth more than a dozen people you don’t know.

Anyone else have any experience with a survival group they want to share?

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Five Emergency Survival Toolshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/21/five-emergency-survival-tools/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/21/five-emergency-survival-tools/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:00:17 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11669 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As preppers we strive to acquire skills, knowledge and yes tools that can assist us should we ever be faced with dire circumstances. The actual disaster that you might be facing and you own situation at the present time would necessarily determine what would be required of you to survive. For instance there might be […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As preppers we strive to acquire skills, knowledge and yes tools that can assist us should we ever be faced with dire circumstances. The actual disaster that you might be facing and you own situation at the present time would necessarily determine what would be required of you to survive. For instance there might be a wildfire burning in the next county over with winds driving toward your house. With some time you could pack the family in the wagon and head out onto the highway to find a hotel or stay with friends a safe distance away. This is a real survival situation for you if the flames were approaching and by the act of bugging out you were responsible for saving your family. Had the flames kept going and you didn’t leave they all might have perished with you if the fire reached your front door.

But for some of us we don’t look at that example as a survival scenario. You had a car and the banks were working as well as your cell phone. You had a place to go and have plenty of clean, dry clothes in your bags packed safely in the mini-van that you just refilled because the pumps are still working fine. You are still able to buy food at a restaurant and aside from the fire, everyone is safe.

A survival situation doesn’t have to look like a reality TV show. I think far too many people imagine survival as being dropped onto a deserted island with nothing but a knife, water bottle (5 camera men) and your wits to keep you alive. Do these things happen to some people? Sure, but not usually unless you purposely head out into nature with the express intent of getting far away. I know that you can get into danger by simply hiking local nature trails over the weekend but how many of us living in the city or suburbs (outside of some real crisis) have to look for shelter, food, find our way to civilization or make a fire?

When I talk about survival tools I am not coming at this from the standpoint of surviving in the jungles of Central America but these emergency survival tools could help there too. Survival to me is staying alive regardless of the location and these five emergency survival tools will help you maintain room temperature.

Can you cut it?

I have been asked this before but I do think the single most important survival tool besides a clear calm head is a knife. Knives have been around forever because they are so incredibly useful. You might think that you wouldn’t need a knife unless you were whittling a stick into a spear or slicing the skin off some animal you trapped in a snare, but you would be wrong. Knives offer so many uses that their importance can’t be overstated.

OK, so you believe you need a knife, but what kind of survival knife? How would you carry it? How much should you spend on a good survival knife? These are all great questions, but each individual needs to answer them for yourself. I will give you my two cents though. There are really two types of knifes for me. There is my big knife for cutting big things and taking a beating and then I have a smaller knife for cutting smaller things. It is not as sturdy.

Kershaw Leek - Excellent EDC knife.

Kershaw Leek – Excellent EDC knife.

Why have two types? It comes down to convenience really. For my EDC (Every Day Carry) knife that I have on my person at all times away from home and usually in my home I have a small folding knife. Now it isn’t so small that I can’t cut anything with it, but it isn’t too large that I can’t stick it in my pocket. I have this because the closest thing I am going to be getting to lost in the wilderness is a park. My small folding knife will still cut almost anything I would need it to and it’s compact size makes it easy for me to carry every day to work.

If I am going into the woods as I hope to do here in the next few weeks with my survival dog on sabbatical, I will leave the folding knife at home and carry my larger Gerber LMF II. This knife is a fixed blade that is far sturdier than my folder and can be used to chop down small trees if I need to. Both of them have a purpose and I chose my knife based upon where I will be, but I always have one on me. You should too.

Looking for love in all the wrong places?

Have you ever been lost? If you are taking a walk in the woods you should carry a compass and a map. I have and love my GPS, but if that goes out I still have my map and a compass. With a compass you don’t have to worry about EMP rendering your device out of commission. Actually, where I have been backpacking we sometimes lose the satellite signal so my compass is the low tech fallback option for finding my way back home to my family.

A great compass is a simple lifesaving survival tool.

A great compass is a simple lifesaving survival tool.

Now, it’s all well and good to have a compass but you need to know how to use a compass and map too? Most anyone I know can pick one up, point it and say, ‘that way’s North’ with authority but will that be enough? Check out this great video on using a compass and map if you need a refresher.

Come on baby light my fire!

If I had a dollar for all the articles I had seen (and a few I have written myself) about the importance of being able to start a fire, I would have… I don’t know; a hundred bucks? Suffice it to say that there are a lot of people out there who are trying to convey the importance of being able to start a fire. Why is fire so important? Just like these other survival tools, it can save your life.

BlastMatch - Single hand operation.

BlastMatch – Single hand operation.

You can learn how to start a fire with a fire plough or the magnifying glass trick or my personal favorite, starting a fire with a bottle of water but really there are easier options. The easiest option is a simple Bic lighter. I have dozens of these strewn around the house and in both my bug out bags, get home bags and the bag I take hiking with me. They are cheap, easy to use and do what they are supposed to do. But, what if they get wet?

Two alternatives to the good old Bic lighter are both called fire steels. I have a Swedish Fire Steel which is a rod that you need to strike with a stainless steel striker or the back of your knife blade to make sparks that are over 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit!! This isn’t just cheap fireworks when you are bored but combine this with the proper amount of dry tinder or WetFire cubes and you will have a flame in no time.

I also have a BlastMatch all-weather fire starter which is the same concept but you can use this one-handed. Perfect for if you are injured or you need to use one hand to block the wind or keep that bear at bay. Both of these great survival tools are waterproof so that gives them an advantage over matches (unless they are waterproof obviously) and Bic lighters. Sure a Bic will dry out if you have the time, but what if you just escaped a raging river, all your gear is soaked, the sun is going down and you are freezing cold? Also, they will last for thousands of fires and you can’t say the same for matches.

Gimme Shelter

Survival Bivvy

Survival Bivvy

Quick, what is the first thing that will kill you? Lack of food? Dehydration from no water? A backhand from a Polar Bear? If you answered polar bear I might have to give that one to you but unless you are in the arctic or dumb enough to climb the fence at your local zoo, the chances of you seeing a polar bear are slim.

Most people fret about starving or dying of thirst though and that isn’t really what you have to worry about the most. Exposure will kill you faster than thirst or hunger and it is something to consider. Have you heard of the rule of threes? The rule of threes goes something like this:

  • You can live three minutes without air
  • You can live three hours without shelter
  • You can live three days without water
  • You can live three weeks without food

Now before you start saying that the most important thing is air, let’s just say that this is a given. If you are suffocating you definitely have big problems, but that isn’t likely either. Most of those survival shows I talked about at the beginning show you how to scavenge for food if you are lost in the wilderness, but like the rule of three says, you can go weeks without food. Will it be fun? No, but you do have bigger problems.

Shelter in this rule means getting too cold (hypothermia) or two hot (hyperthermia) and both are just as bad for your body. If you find yourself in a survival situation there is a tool that you can use to regulate your body temperature and this can keep you alive. In the heat you have to get out of the sun. In the cold you have to conserve heat and a survival bivvy works great for both purposes. As a sun shade you can turn the survival bivvy inside out and let the reflective material reflect the sun off you. It also doubles as a signaling device. When you are cold, climb into the bag and the reflective material will reflect your own body heat back on you keeping you warm.

Fenix Headlamp - Perfect for hands free tasks in zero visibility.

Fenix Headlamp – Perfect for hands free tasks in zero visibility.

I can see clearly now!

Lastly, and one of my favorite survival tools is a flashlight. Well, more precisely it is light because light can solve a world of problems. Can you imagine being lost and not being able to see? One wrong step could land you in a hole that might break your ankle or you could step off a cliff. When I am backpacking I have a Fenix headlamp that I love. I just strap this to my head and I can walk around and do most anything I normally would because I can see clearly where I am going, what is ahead of me and I don’t have to use my hands.

During the day a headlamp is a little bit much but I also carry a small but bright flashlight as part of my EDC. You would be surprised how often I have to use this thing so it does come in handy.

What are some of your favorite survival tools?

 

 

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TitanStraps – Re-Useable Zip Tie: Reviewhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/20/titanstraps-re-useable-zip-tie-review/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/20/titanstraps-re-useable-zip-tie-review/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:19:53 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11649 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Have you ever needed to strap something down and went to look for a length of rope or bungee cord? When I do this it is usually to tie down something on the roof of my car and rope seems to be the best option in most cases, but in order to get a really […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Have you ever needed to strap something down and went to look for a length of rope or bungee cord? When I do this it is usually to tie down something on the roof of my car and rope seems to be the best option in most cases, but in order to get a really perfect length of rope you need to cut your rope. This isn’t always what I have to do but if I needed to secure a tarp for example at various points over my vehicle I could end up needing 8 small pieces of rope. Assuming I tie knots that hold tight and are easy to remove I have 8 small pieces of rope that aren’t good for much else.

I could go with bungee cords too but if the distance between the tie down grommet or item and what I am securing the item to isn’t far enough I have to rig the bungee in a way that it takes up less space. Sometimes this works and others it doesn’t. Another option is a big zip tie and these work great in a lot of places but they are single use. Once you use a zip tie and you need to remove it, its life is over and we toss it into the trash. It is one of the small things in life that I find more frustrating than they need to be.

Well, you are getting worked up over nothing you say. You would be right. I could keep a wider assortment of ropes, bungees and zip ties with me in each vehicle to deal with any situation I run into, or I could work harder at my knot tying skills but I know there has to be an easier or smarter way to do stuff like this. I am not a trucker , don’t work in construction or haul things often, so my practice at tying things down is usually reserved for helping people move, big trips back from the hardware store or packing for an extremely long trip where the baggage weighs more than the people in the vehicle. When I run into a case where I am temporarily foiled by something as simple as a tarp it gets on my nerves.

TitanStraps work for strapping down small items to your Bike or 4-Wheeler

TitanStraps work for strapping down small items to your Bike or 4-Wheeler

Enter TitanStraps. TitanStraps are one of those inventions that make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that”? I think the best description I have heard of it is that TitanStraps are like a re-usable zip tie and they work perfectly for so many times that you need a simple strap that is easy to tighten and best of all, remove. The TitanStrap has so many uses that it is limited only by your imagination.

I was sent a few TitanStraps to review for the Prepper Journal and I was impressed by how they felt. TitanStraps are made from a stretchy, high performance polymer. Rather than being hard plastic, the TitanStrap is very supple and its been injected with a 10-year UV additive for extra longevity. The buckle is made from heat-treated aircraft aluminum and fits securely into the holes in the strap. Each TitanStrap is 25” long and can even be daisy chained together to secure larger items. It’s like a belt in that you can wrap it around the item you are securing, slide the other end through and stick the buckle through the holes in the strap.

TitanStraps4

 

I think a challenge may be thinking of a place they don’t work but this primarily comes down to size because the TitanStraps are beefy. As soon as I had these in my hands I started envisioning how they could be used to tie down equipment to my roof in a bug out scenario. I thought of how I could use these on my deer stand to quickly strap up items I had pulled up there with me that I didn’t want occupying the seat but I didn’t want to drop them either. Usually I would just snap a carabiner over the side rail, but this could make noise. Plus, the orange TitanStraps are already colored for safety. My wife would be pleased.

No more little pieces of rope.

No more little pieces of rope.

 

I put a couple of these in my vehicles and some in my get home bag but I probably need at least 4 per vehicle to go along with the rope I have. I know they won’t work in every single instance that I need to tie something down but they are great anywhere a strap will work. If I needed to secure a canoe for example to the front of the car I would need a much longer rope than the titan straps but for many uses, these are perfect. Bungee cords are great in some places too, but you don’t have to worry about a TitanStrap slipping off and that big metal hook taking out an eye. The straps easily unbuckle (just like a belt) and there is no high tension to sling items back at your hands or head.

TitanStraps5

 

Titan Straps come in at least three colors (Orange, Blue and Grey). They did have a black option but I don’t see that on the TitanStraps website at the present time and they have a working load limit of 206lbs. As an added bonus they are made in the USA. You can find them at hardware stores like Home Depot or you can order them from Amazon or on the TitanStraps website. If you are looking for a great tie down strap option, you might want to give the TitanStrap a try. I am sure you will be happy with your choice.

 

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Open Border, Ebola & ISIS: A Perfect Storm For America?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/19/open-border-ebola-isis-perfect-storm-america/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/19/open-border-ebola-isis-perfect-storm-america/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:00:09 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11624 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Back in July I wrote an article about the potential for ‘biological warfare’ being waged against America by terrorist groups. Now, the “JV team” (ISIS, according to Obama) ISIS has Baghdad surrounded and it may fall in the coming days or weeks. In martial arts I learned respect, including respect for my opponents. Underestimating a […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Back in July I wrote an article about the potential for ‘biological warfare’ being waged against America by terrorist groups. Now, the “JV team” (ISIS, according to Obama) ISIS has Baghdad surrounded and it may fall in the coming days or weeks. In martial arts I learned respect, including respect for my opponents. Underestimating a threat is the undoing of many people, including famous military commanders. We have a president who has underestimated several critical issues, and now he has done the same thing yet again with Ebola.

Americans are all at risk when the administration fails to act timely and effectively. The current administration is plagued with incompetence combined with overconfidence (dangerous combination), and anyone who has been paying attention to the news is hearing that theme loud and clear, from every side of the media.

‘Capability’ regardless of how great, is useless without leadership, planning and timely execution. We have seen none of these qualities fielded by the current administration. In fact, if ISIS is the “JV team”, the Obama administration is the junior high school ‘JV’ team.

Ebola is now in America, contrary to what Obama told Americans a few weeks back. And what is possibly more frightening than the incompetence of Obama and his administration, including the head of the CDC, Dr.Thomas Frieden, is the fact that ISIS commanders have said in no uncertain words that they will send Jihadists who are infected with Ebola to America.

In years past, prior to the Obama open border policy, these Jihadists would have had a far more difficult time gaining access into the American homeland, however that is no-longer the case. In addition to illegal immigrants who are pouring into the U.S. over our southern border, a contingent of whom are known to be Jihadists, are the people who are flying commercial airliners right into America from countries in Africa where the Ebola virus is raging out of control. The number of cases is growing by 10,000 every two weeks according to the WHO.

At every step of the way, the CDC is seen as either holding-back information they have on Ebola, or in some cases, are just plain incompetent and don’t know what they are talking about. For instance, Dr. Frieden the head of the CDC told Americans just a week ago that the incubation period of the Ebola virus was about 21 days. Now we learn from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the incubation period is actually as long as 42 days!

Also not known by the CDC is that (according to the WHO) some of the infected don’t show signs of fever or other symptoms, yet may still be contagious. So these infected people could infect many others without any warning signs.

Now considering the recent promise by ISIS to send Jihadists infected with Ebola to America… it seems that a 42-day incubation period works to their advantage… a long fuse on a deadly ‘viral bomb’. An individual Jihadist has more than enough time to become infected, and while the deadly virus is incubating for many weeks, that individual could easily travel overseas and into America legally, or illegally. I say legally because Obama has seen fit to allow Americans who fought with ISIS to return to America and roam free, and who’s to say if they may be carrying something?

And once an infected Jihadist is in America, do you think that person will check into a hospital when the symptoms appear? Heck no! A Jihadist will make it a point to contaminate the most congested public places, sneezing and coughing, and with some thought, things much worse! The bottom line is that an infected Jihadist is as close to the perfect biological weapon as a terrorist group can get… with an intelligent delivery system. Just keep in mind that these are the same people who wrap themselves in explosives and blow themselves and others to pieces.

Many other countries, including France and Great Britain have closed their doors to flights from the infected African countries, while Obama has elected to keep allowing people to arrive across America daily! And during a time when the CDC can’t find its own backside with both hands! And it seems now that the best information on Ebola is coming from the WHO, and not the CDC, which has been coined as the ‘Center For Disease Confusion’ by some radio talk show hosts.

And now, to top off the lunacy from the top office, Obama is considering sending even more of our countrymen and women (National Guard and other soldiers) into the infected countries of Africa! This is just stupidity at its finest! When we look at the facts on the ground in Texas, where nurses working in a top hospital environment and who have training and hazmat suits are now infected with Ebola, any logical person would stop and re-think the situation. Sending a bunch of young men and women into a raging Ebola epidemic with less experience and training than the Texas nurses had is a disaster in the making of monumental proportions. And here again, with a 42-day incubation period, how do we handle asymptomatic soldiers returning home, who may be infected and inside that incubation period? Are we going to quarantine hundreds or thousands of our soldiers? Or just let them come back into society when we know that some will become contagious and infect dozens/hundreds of other people in their home towns?

Some readers may be asking the question as to why I am outlining these particular issues. There is a very logical rationale for outlining and detailing these issues: Too many American people are being caught-up in the false rhetoric (don’t worry, we have it under control’) because they want to believe and trust they will be ‘OK’. So it’s important that others are doing the calculus and digging into the daily contradictions and then outlining them, which hopefully stimulates others to do their homework.

Americans need to know what the real facts are, so they can themselves take the needed actions to protect themselves from what may be coming; a full-on Ebola Epidemic in America. Quite frankly, a death by beheading would be merciful compared to a death by Ebola, which we now learn from the WHO is about 70% fatal (the CDC was wrong on that point too).

Americans need to understand why they must rely on themselves for being prepared, and that is why it is important to focus on the failings of the current administration and its policies.

In the case of Ebola: An ounce of prevention (preparedness) is worth a pound of cure.

 

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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Perspectives: Avoiding Hysteriahttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/18/perspectives-avoiding-hysteria/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/18/perspectives-avoiding-hysteria/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:00:39 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11613 Written by Matt Sevald on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: The following guest article has been generously contributed by Matt Sevald. There’s been a lot of conjecture, gossip, and rumor surrounding Ebola in our country lately. How much is true? Who’s “fault” is it? Can we trust the government? How can I avoid it? These are questions running through our nation’s minds and […]

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Written by Matt Sevald on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: The following guest article has been generously contributed by Matt Sevald.

There’s been a lot of conjecture, gossip, and rumor surrounding Ebola in our country lately. How much is true? Who’s “fault” is it? Can we trust the government? How can I avoid it? These are questions running through our nation’s minds and the answers are up to each of us to determine for ourselves. In the end, we are all responsible unto ourselves for our own survival. We know this intrinsically, and self-preservation is perhaps the largest motivating force behind Prepping. Even if the government with all its brain power and financial resources could take care of us, we don’t believe it should, and when government fails or when we perceive it as inept or devious we rightfully retreat from its grasp. But in our quest to keep ourselves safe, is there a point when we step through the looking-glass and become paranoid?

In my work as a 911 dispatcher Ebola has taken a front row seat in our conversations as well as in the form of CDC training emails and other information from higher up in our chain of command. Our focus is how to limit Ebola’s impact on our local public safety agencies if it happens to strike in our neck of the woods as well as how to handle it out amongst the public in a safe and responsible manner. A couple of my coworkers are Preppers as well and we have our own discussions about working together, stockpiling resources, ensuring we pass vital information to each other, and determining how we can augment our dispatch center’s protocols to help keep us all safe. We consider these things as natural as breathing not because we are afraid, but because we see logical value in taking thought-out, reasoned steps to safeguard our loved ones against potential threats and unknowns.

As we enter traditional flu season, many people are worried about being able to effectively detect Ebola since its earliest of symptoms are flu-like. One of the early symptoms is a fever which can be beaten with Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or aspirin while still leaving the person contagious. In particular, given that I live in a tourist town and we are in the middle of the annual Huntsman World Senior Games (think senior Olympics) a concern has arisen that people with potentially compromised or suppressed immune systems (due to natural processes associated with advanced age) could be traveling into our area from all over the country or even internationally. Are we getting folks from Sierra Leone signed up to do pickle-ball? No. But we have people from Canada, China, and the Caribbean and who knows if they were on any of these flights with afflicted Ebola patients or with people who came into contact with them. Is this a rational concern? The CDC says they’re monitoring and in contact with people whom they believe are at risk, but the “monitoring” and quarantines imposed have been broken by people, including trained doctors because they were tired of it and wanted to go get some soup! You tell me if it is a rational concern.

Reasonable Precautions or Chicken Little?

According to my own unscientific anecdotal observations there appear to be three schools of thought regarding Ebola:

1) Laissez-faire or Que sera, sera;

2) PANIC! and

3) Prepare, Observe, React, Adjust.

It seems to me that our Federal government espouses the first school of thought via the President putting on a public facade of “everything’s groovy man, things are under control”. The CDC is also to blame for continuing to preach that Ebola is not transmitted via air and even contradicting themselves about whether or not it is when eminent doctors caution that it is airborne and there was documented proof that in 1989 Ebola was known to be airborne in a lab mishap in Virginia. This sort of head-in-the-sand denial about the potential for Ebola to get worse is why we still haven’t banned flights from infected countries. However, to the President’s credit, he skipped fundraising to have a cabinet meeting about Ebola and House Speaker John Boehner has begun calling for that travel ban.

As far as the “PANIC!” school of thought goes, I think we Preppers often get blamed for it (whether we’re panicking or not) and we certainly can fall victim to hysteria, even more than the general public because of our hyper-vigilant mindset. Already we have seen a woman wearing a full hazmat suit to the airport and an airport worker forced to remove mask and gloves or be fired out of fear he would spark a panic. Sales of masks and “survival kits” are on the rise in both Britain and the United States. Keep in mind that Prepping is supposed to give us an edge for these sorts of scenarios so that we don’t have to panic. I advocate having health care supplies, but it’s not time to lock ourselves in the bunker just yet.

ThreatMatrixThe most logical way to go about any problem, large or small, while having the best outcome is to think it through rationally. We still have time to do this and we should do it and encourage all the people we know to do this. As the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water…” and so it is that not all of our friends and loved ones will heed our advice, but at least you tried. I believe the best way to approach this Ebola outbreak is to make the proper basic preps: Water, Food, Hygiene, Security, etc. I also believe it is important to have a threat response matrix which addresses your unique needs and abilities, concerns, politico-geographical area, and is flexible. This tool simply puts to words possible problems and your responses to them in a clear manner which is easily understood and adhered to by people you’re taking care of. There’s no time like the present to prepare because you don’t want to be in the middle of something terrible and wonder “Will my kids have enough to eat?” or perhaps a family member breaches protocol by bringing in an infected neighbor out of compassion because they didn’t know about your rules since they weren’t printed. I made one up for my family when Ebola first came to the US and my wife thought it was overbearing, scary, and more than a bit ridiculous. Having served in the Marine Corps, I thought it was the perfect tool for the job. We’re still working that one out, but rest assured I will see to it that we’re prepared.

Listen to your Gut but Temper it with Reason

I’ll close with a news article I just read after a work discussion on this topic, both of which moved me to write this article. It does a very reasonable job of putting into perspective our natural ability and inclination to use emotion for decision-making when there are unknowns (something nature has wired into us and has been useful for eons) and our ability to rationally think through problems when evidence is presented.

Some good points are made:

  • 30,000 people die in America each year from the flu and millions catch it, yet we don’t freak out over that yearly pandemic.
  • So far only 1 person has died from Ebola in America and so far only 2 people have caught it.
  • The last time we had a nation-wide medical scare was regarding Anthrax in 2001 and the cases of hoax and hysteria (people reporting false symptoms that were in their head) vastly outnumbered the actual number of real anthrax incidents
  • The human mind trends towards bias when emotion is involved. E.g. 1-in-a-million chances are recognized as effectively “zero”, but when someone we know “knows” someone who had something bad happen them we wonder “am I the 1-in-a-million”?
  • Ebola, like SARS, MERS, bird flu, swine flu, etc is exotic, strange, foreign, and something that third world countries get and that can terrify us, not only because it is unknown, but because there really is little we can do as individuals to prevent its spread. Additionally, death from Ebola is gruesome and painful and that can terrify us as well, much the same as airplane crashes can have us wondering what those final moments will be like.
  • The 24 hour news cycle inundates us with constant images of bodies, orphans, images of the virus magnified several hundred million times, “alerts”, press conferences, people in hazmat suits, reports of “suspected” patients and lapses in government oversight. What else are we supposed to think and feel when hammered like that?
  • Social media and the blogosphere allow billions of people to communicate instantaneously over tens of thousands of miles to spread gossip, ideas, and fear.

 

FDR once told us that “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That might be a bit of an understatement, but the principle is sound. Nothing spreads faster than fear and gossip about the unknown. If we allow hysteria to consume us we will be destroyed faster than if we caught Ebola.

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What is Your Self Quarantine Plan?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/17/self-quarantine-plan/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/17/self-quarantine-plan/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:00:33 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11602 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

The news has been almost completely focused on Ebola for the last couple of weeks and information outlets are pouring out details by the minute. This type of event is what the 24-Hour news cycle was created for and pundits on every side are breathlessly announcing news, interviewing witnesses and experts and showing hour after […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

The news has been almost completely focused on Ebola for the last couple of weeks and information outlets are pouring out details by the minute. This type of event is what the 24-Hour news cycle was created for and pundits on every side are breathlessly announcing news, interviewing witnesses and experts and showing hour after hour of footage of hospitals, people in yellow gowns, nitrile gloves and face-masks. It is enough to make a sane person crazy and it is a sober reminder to preppers everywhere that precautions for events like this are valid, prudent and perhaps in some of our cases, just in the nick of time.

Well, the Prepper Journal audience is full of sane people. I believe that most people who call themselves preppers are focused on taking simple logical steps to ensure the safety of their closest loved ones. It makes sense to pay attention to the news and shore up any supply needs that you might have. I believe it is very wise to keep an eye on the events in Dallas and elsewhere in the world in the event that this virus does grow outside of the limited scope that we have seen so far in the US at least.

When it is all said and done, this “outbreak” which isn’t really an outbreak at all here thankfully could end up disappearing from the news just as quickly as it came. Of course, it could also grow more serious. We aren’t clear exactly how Ebola is transmitted although very smart people are saying that it is hard to catch. So far, I am inclined to believe them only for the primary reason that we only have 3 cases at this time. Should that change I will be prepared to act and I am not going to relax simply because experts tell me not to be alarmed. I am not alarmed, but I am watching events closely as I am sure the rest of you are as well.

Self-Quarantine to reduce exposure risk

If Ebola does start to become a larger problem; if we begin to see a spike in cases, one possible option for limiting your exposure could be as simple as staying home.  Self-Quarantine is the practice of taking yourself out of the world so to speak to avoid contact with others completely. This is pretty much bugging in by definition. The NBC News crew that returned from reporting on Ebola had their cameraman test positive for Ebola so they agreed to Self Quarantine themselves to eliminate exposure to the public for the recommended incubation period of up to 21 days. In the case of Dr. Nancy Snyderman, this proved too long and soon they were caught out at a local restaurant which led to a huge public outcry and a weak apology from the doctor.

I won’t argue that staying in quarantine for up to 21 days would be very difficult, especially if you were alone, but if things do turn worse we might all be better off staying indoors. If Ebola cases increase substantially, we might not have a choice if Executive Order 13295 is put into action. 13295 allows for the “apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases.” Would you rather stay in your home and ride out the Ebola event or wherever the government wants to stick you? If you were faced with voluntary or involuntary quarantine to protect your family from Ebola, what would you need to consider?

Getting information is crucial.

Getting information is crucial.

Infrastructure for Self Quarantine

Not surprisingly, the CDC website has a lot of information about quarantine mostly from the viewpoint of the SARS epidemic back in 2003, but I believe the concepts and topics are still just as relevant if your goal is to reduce or eliminate possible exposure to infected individuals. Major infrastructure considerations for self-quarantine are:

  • Communication Options – Telephone, cell phones, Ham Radio to keep in touch with others outside of your home. Shortwave radio is another good option assuming the regular lines of communication are down.
  • Electricity – In a grid up scenario this should be fine, but if the grid goes down, do you have enough electricity for up to 21 days of isolation?
  • Heat Source – Winter is approaching so a plan to keep warm is important. I have Kerosene Heaters and plenty of stored fuel but I would personally need to augment my supply for very cold conditions. Right now, cold isn’t a factor, but 21 days without power in January would be tougher.
  • Potable Water – A core element of any prepper supply list is to have water on hand. Enough water for one gallon per person per day. If you have a family of 4 and are forced into quarantine from Ebola for 21 days that would be 84 gallons of water at a minimum.
  • Waste and Sanitation – As long as the utilities are functioning this shouldn’t be a problem, but if the crisis explodes (no pun intended) you may not have city water to fill the toilets so alternate accommodations would need to be made. Grid down sanitation options are one possibility but would require you to go outside if the water and sewer lines were out of commission.
  • Food – Do you have enough food to last for 21 days for your entire family? Again, with society still functioning I guess you could have neighbors bring food over but you wouldn’t want to be going to the grocery store.
  • Entertainment – 21 days in your home is a long time. 21 days cooped up with your family is an eternity in the most easy going and loving homes. You should have a plan to counter boredom if you want to preserve your sanity along with your health.

 

Accommodations for Self Quarantine

If you are limiting your exposure as a family unit and by that I mean if everyone in your family is together in this then you can go on living (with certain exceptions) as you were although you wouldn’t be going outside. Would you stop your mail or risk exposure by touching something that another individual had contacted?

I am sure that it depends somewhat on the nature of any potential Ebola outbreak. It could be that the current convention that you must come in contact with bodily fluids from infected people in order to contract the disease holds. If that were the case, you could probably safely move about your yard, but quarantine does mean your trips to the malls, movie theaters, school events, plays, sporting events, hospital visits to sick friends would all be out of the question.

  • Could you work from home? – In today’s environment there are many of us who could work from home full time. As long as I had internet, power and a cell phone I could work anywhere in the world. Online meetings will probably be more common if travel is restricted during any outbreak. Actually, that would be fine with me too as the last place I would want to be during any kind of disease outbreak is at an airport or any place away from home really.
  • Could your children do schoolwork at home? – This would be tough for some but I imagine that a lot of schools would have to offer concessions in the case of quarantine. Certainly if the government locked everything down schools would either forgive homework or lean on online systems that are largely in place already. We still have one child that is home-schooled so she wouldn’t get out of anything, but another already gets her assignments online so staying out wouldn’t be a huge burden.
  • How would you pay your bills? – As long as we have money in the accounts, almost all of our bills except my weekly tithe are done electronically. If that goes down we have bigger problems.

Provided you had running water, power and a job that would allow you to stay home you should only need food to survive outside of climatic extremes. Take all of that away though and your self-imposed quarantine could still save your life, but it would be much harder. Again this assumes that Ebola will always and only be passed from bodily fluids. In this case self-quarantine to reduce exposure should be doable for most people with even basic preparations. Let’s hope we don’t see anything worse.

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Prepping for Senior Citizens if SHTFhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/16/prepping-for-senior-citizens-shtf/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/16/prepping-for-senior-citizens-shtf/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:00:02 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11594 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping as a senior citizen presents its own unique challenges and circumstances that may necessarily need to be addressed in a different way from person to person. Each of us should have some members of our family who could be considered as Senior citizens unless you are hanging out with your drinking buddies and don’t […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping as a senior citizen presents its own unique challenges and circumstances that may necessarily need to be addressed in a different way from person to person. Each of us should have some members of our family who could be considered as Senior citizens unless you are hanging out with your drinking buddies and don’t plan to encounter or care for anyone other than yourself if the grid goes down. For those who do or even if you are a senior citizen yourself, I wanted to write an article addressing what senior citizens should do to prepare for SHTF or what you who might be caring for senior citizens might consider. Before I begin, I fully understand and appreciate that there are some seniors out there that could out work, out think and outperform me. This article isn’t for you obviously because I am a firm believer that you are never too old to prep but this article is geared toward the people we love and care for who need assistance and may rely on us when the time comes.

I want to start by making the claim that as a society, we have largely relegated the care of our senior citizens to others. We put our parents and grandparents into nursing homes or assisted living facilities rather than bring them into our homes. This is done for a wide array of reasons, but usually the main reason given is that “they can be cared for better” at some facility away from us. This may be true on one level in that these facilities have trained staff and equipment that the average person does not have, but I think we suffer on a human scale as a result of shifting this burden for caring for our seniors to someone else. By delegating the care they receive we absolve ourselves of the responsibility even if we are shouldering the cost of the care and the by-product is a society that values life less. We will go to great lengths to reduce the amount of trouble we personally have to go through to care for a loved one if we can afford it. If we can’t, seniors are usually sent to government facilities where the care is even worse.

Imagine SHTF and there is no Sunny-side Acres to drop your mother off at. There are no healthcare providers that can help your family member get dressed, go to the bathroom, eat or wash themselves. What will you do then? What if the grid goes down and your elder Grandparent is trapped at a facility without power? Would you go get him? What if the grid goes down and eventually your mother starts showing signs of dementia?

Physical Health Issues

All of us age and certain things are to be expected as we start adding more years onto our life. Preppers can take steps now to understand and plan for these situations so that either for ourselves or loved ones we can be better able to deal with the effects of growing old without the safety nets we have now.

I think the most important thing we can do regardless of our age is to get into the best physical shape possible. Health will pay benefits that cannot be measured in dollars and simply being able to walk for some distances could be the difference between life and death. I am not talking about seniors with physical handicaps, we’ll get into that later but as we age our strength, flexibility and endurance all suffer. Some of this can be reversed or delayed by simply leading an active healthy lifestyle. Exercise is free and will improve your overall, mental and physical health which will without a doubt be crucial in a disaster or crisis event.

If you need to bug out, being able to walk possibly for miles will be critical. I personally know several people who would have a hard time with that and I am not talking about people over 70. I know several younger people that fit this mold too, but we are talking about prepping for senior citizens here. Health is critical.

There is only so much you can do though so what if your relatives are on medication or are already confined to wheel chairs, strollers or need oxygen? Medications are probably the first you want to knock down for must-have prescriptions. Ideally any medication that is not directly responsible for a health condition would be weaned slowly (following physician’s advice and care) so that it wouldn’t be necessary. If that isn’t possible and time constraints might make that so, having a few months’ supply on hand will insulate the senior in your care for some time. Ask your doctor if you can stock up for the winter or because you are taking an around the world cruise.

Alternately, you should look for natural homeopathic medicine options that might fit the bill in a crunch scenario. Some medicines might require refrigeration so having a plan for backup power in a power outage would be critical for keeping insulin cold. If the insulin runs out or refrigeration isn’t an option you could try more austere measures and Dr. Bones has a 5-part article on the topic of Diabetes and Survival. Essentially this discusses one option for life without insulin and how important that is when prepping for senior citizens.

Mobility issues for those who can’t walk long distances or require assistance are going to be much harder to circumvent on foot. Even if you have a wheel chair it likely won’t be going off-road very well. There are hunting game carts that can handle a large amount of weight that can be used in a pinch but if this is your reality having a bug out location and a plan you are ready to implement early on in any crisis would be ideal. A game cart isn’t going to be ideal for a person without some serious modifications but it could handle their bug out bag so they didn’t have to carry it.

There aren’t any solutions for every problem and the reality of your situation and the crisis is going to dictate what you can do.

Mental Issues

In addition to physical considerations you could be faced with mental issues that are a routine part of aging. Additionally, you could encounter resistance to change, apathy or crippling fear that could render the senior unable to move or act. As we age, our minds aren’t always as sharp as they were when we were younger so some seniors may need reminders or help with directions. The individual will dictate how self-sufficient they will be but you should prepare now to motivate in ways that you hadn’t considered before.

With my own family, I am pretty confident I will be able to lead them where I need to go. I am pretty sure they will listen to what I have to say and act more or less without too much question. With someone who is old enough or was actually responsible for putting diapers on your butt it could be a different story altogether.

Have you ever tried to talk to someone significantly older than you and try to change their mind about some topic? In essence you were trying to show that you knew more than they did and right or wrong, the elder person didn’t take what you said at face value or blew you off completely? Now imagine there is a crisis and you have to get this person to safety. They may not even believe there is a problem or they may be scared or unwilling to leave their home.

When a disaster is upon us making some seniors make life changing decisions will be a tough prospect. If they are fully in control of their mental faculties they may be more in tune with what is going on. If not, you could have a fight on your hands. It may be best to come up with alternate reasons for taking them from their comfort zone. Instead of saying we have to leave before the Ebola pandemic comes, it might be something like we have to go to Aunt Bunnies birthday party!

Seniors have skills you may have overlooked.

Seniors have skills you may have overlooked.

Overlooked Resources

Seniors may have issues that will cause frustration and possibly more work on your end but if you truly care for them you have to do whatever you can to bring them along with you safely. It isn’t like these mature people are just giant babies that need to be coddled, seniors have so much to offer in the way of survival that their importance should not be discounted.

For one thing, seniors bring a wealth of experience and skill that you may never have even learned. Seniors alive now lived through the great depression so their first-hand experience and advice could save you a ton of effort and time. They might not be able to do the more manually labor intensive tasks, but they might know how to do things you need for survival like gardening, hunting or repairs. They might be the Ham Radio operator that gives your survival group the communications it needs to stay in contact with the world. They could be avid re-loaders who have the skills and equipment to cast bullets for your survival firearms or a million other things you haven’t thought of yet.

Seniors are not a burden, they just have different needs and limitations, but we should respect their lives, value their contributions to prepping and never forget that without them we wouldn’t be here today.

 

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Will a Fence Protect You When the Grid Goes Down?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/15/will-fence-protect-you-grid-goes/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/15/will-fence-protect-you-grid-goes/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:00:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11580 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

A Prepper Journal reader, Andrew asked the following question on our Contact form the other day: I’m wondering if you guys could do a write up of the pros and cons of a fenced property as well as a gated driveway. It is something I have considered for some time but would be very much […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

A Prepper Journal reader, Andrew asked the following question on our Contact form the other day:

I’m wondering if you guys could do a write up of the pros and cons of a fenced property as well as a gated driveway. It is something I have considered for some time but would be very much interested in what people more in the know think of these security options.

If anyone else has any questions, please send them in, or comment on any post. Your conversations help everyone in the Prepper community learn and if anyone has additional feedback to what I write here, please add that below.

A fence for home protection

When it comes to keeping people out or keeping them in, a fence is one of the first things considered. Naturally any secure area or building has a fence around it –  sometimes several fences. The most secure fences would additionally have a roll of razor wire at the top to detract would-be climbers from making it over unscathed or be electrified; possibly both.

In residential areas you are usually more limited in what you would even consider putting around your property. In my case, I wouldn’t be able to add that big prison fence to the sides of my yard because my wife wouldn’t allow it. Now before I get comments like I need to grow a pair, I will add that I wouldn’t want a large fence either. It isn’t like a large fence would help my falling property value and unless I am in a fortress it just doesn’t go with my landscaping.

When we first brought our survival dog home we talked about a fence to keep her enclosed in our yard. We priced out a traditional chain-link fence for our yard that would have given us some peace of mind if we ever wanted to let her go unattended. The over $5000 price list made me throw that idea out the window. I know that I could have installed a chain link fence myself, but I didn’t want to tackle that project on my own. Assuming money was no object, the question was, is a fence a good idea when the grid goes down? Will a fence protect you or keep the bad guys away? Are there any yard security measures you could take that would make a difference in a grid down world?

The Pros and Cons

Items like a chain link fence can improve your property’s value if done in a way that doesn’t detract from the appearance of your yard in most cases. Fences can keep children and pets in while keeping smaller children and pets out of your yard. There is usually a state law to have a fence if you have a pool to prevent anyone from stumbling into the water and drowning. Fences create a nice boundary line and frame your property in a way that for some is more pleasing than the openness of yards without borders. Aside from the aesthetic reasons and the property value implications (of which I really am not qualified to speak to) are fences good at realistic protection?

Assuming we are talking about traditional residential fences here, I don’t believe they offer anything on their own in the way of serious protection. Could they slow someone down? Yes, but for how long? Even the White House fence proved no match for a determined man. Fences can easily be cut with a plain pair of bolt cutters (which I recommend everyone have as part of a complete prepper supply list of items), or run over with just about any car and then the illusion of protection would be shattered pretty quickly. If you are planning on buying and installing a fence, I wouldn’t expect this alone would keep you safe from anything more than those small children and pets. They might be a better deterrent while there is no crisis going on, but if the grid goes down, do you really expect a fence to keep anyone out for long?

Security gates may slow down vehicles, but what about people on foot?

Security gates may slow down vehicles, but what about people on foot?

What about a big security gate on your driveway? These are frequently more substantial than a fence, but they have their weaknesses too. Even with a gate, you are probably only going to slow down vehicles, but people can walk in or around those gates. I look at these like expensive locks on my shed. They are there to keep honest people out, not the criminals who will find a way to get around these basic security measures in a truly violent reality if they are motivated.

So should you do nothing?

I think in some situations, fences and gates can slow people down but they won’t stop anyone who is really determined for long. You can use these as your early warning system though and deploy perimeter alarms at the gates and on the fences to alert you when these obstacles have been breached. In a home invasion scenario this could give you precious seconds of advance warning to either make it to your home defense weapon or safe room and possibly call 911.

Those are my thoughts, what do you think?

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10 Prepping Tips To Deter Burglarshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/14/10-prepping-tips-to-deter-burglars/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/14/10-prepping-tips-to-deter-burglars/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:59:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11563 Written by Roger Gallager on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to chances of your home being broken into, the odds are not exactly on your favor. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that one in every 36 homes in America is likely to be attacked by burglars. Do you know how frequent that is? Take this: one home is being broken into […]

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Written by Roger Gallager on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to chances of your home being broken into, the odds are not exactly on your favor. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that one in every 36 homes in America is likely to be attacked by burglars. Do you know how frequent that is? Take this: one home is being broken into every 13 seconds.

In 2012, more than two million homes fell to burglars accounting for 23% of property crimes. So if you think your home and your family are not at risk, think again. Whoever you are and wherever you live, burglars will find a way. If you are not careful, you can be on top of their list.

There are simple and practical tips to deter burglars that homeowners sometimes take for granted, making it easier for burglars to do their job. Sometimes it is as simple as closing and locking your doors. Do not sacrifice your family’s safety, privacy, and sanity by failing to take these simple precautions. Here are ten reminders to put off burglars:

Lock the doors

How easy can that be? And how easily forgotten?

The FBI Crime Report showed that 34% of break-ins are through a front door. Burglars are not rocket scientists and the first thing they look for is nothing but an unlocked door. About 30% of the time, they are in luck.

Aside from making sure the doors are locked, invest in a sturdy door. Burglars are desperate and aggressive and most of the time, they can pry a door open with just a few simple tools and one good kick. Make things extra hard for them by securing your door with a high quality deadbolt lock. A snug-fitting dowel can also help.

Secure your windows

Windows are also a common point of entry. Some 22% of burglaries start on the first floor window. Sliding glass windows are especially vulnerable. Use tempered and laminated glass for added security and make sure they have secondary locking devices. Putting metal window bars will also add a layer to privacy and security. Do not invite thieves by opening your curtains throughout the day without checking if your windows are secured.

Beware of the dog

Most burglars avoid homes with dogs. Dogs are not only man’s best friend. Their bark attracts attention and poses physical threat (especially big dogs). Burglars want to accomplish their mission with as little noise as possible and dogs will make it inconvenient for them.

Set up alarms

Security agency Safeguard The World estimated that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be broken into. Burglars agree.

A 2013 research by the Electronic Security Association revealed that 83% of offenders said they would attempt to determine if a target has an alarm system. Sixty percent said they would go on to look for another target and discontinue the attempt. Aside from the sound of an alarm, another way to protect your family is to find an efficient way to install a surveillance camera that scares 40% of burglars and keeps them away. Security cameras could also help identify burglars and throw them in jail.

Put up “beware” signs

If you have a dog, an alarm system, or hidden security cameras in your home, let the burglar know about it. A visible sign that your home is protected tells the burglar that there will be consequences upon breaking into your home.

Mind your keys

Never make a habit of leaving a spare key under the doormat or the flower pot. Someone could see you leave or retrieve the key at one point. Don’t put information on your key that can reveal where you live because you might lose it and it would be fairly easy for a burglar to trace your address.

Make sure someone’s home

Make sure your home looks occupied even when is not. The FBI reported that most burglaries happen during daytime from 10am to 3pm when residents are in school or at work. Burglary incidence is also highest during summer months when families are on vacation (and announce them on social media).

Make sure your home appears lived in when everyone’s away. Use timers on your TV, radio, or lights that will automatically turn them on to give the illusion that someone is home. Contact billing agencies not to deliver your mail only to leave them in the mail box or in front of your door. A mail not picked up is a sign no one’s home. You could also ask a trusted neighbor to collect them for you.

Trim your yard

An untidy lawn does not only give the impression that a home is unoccupied. Shaggy shrubs and untrimmed trees also provide a good cover and good hiding places for burglars. Stand in front of your yard and ask yourself: can thieves possibly hide in these bushes?

Be a friendly neighbor

You are not a superhero and you can’t do things on your own all the time. Be friendly to your neighbors because you are going to need them. For example, when you are on your vacation, you can ask some of your neighbors to park in front of your home every now and then so it will look occupied. Ask a trusted neighbor to trim your lawn and pick up your mail and deliveries. Make sure they keep you in the loop whenever bad things happen in the neighborhood.

Think like a burglar

Put yourself in the shoes of a burglar. Look around your home and see if it is possible to be broken into. Look for red flags and weakest points of entry. Stand outside your home and check if it looks empty and looks vulnerable to burglars. Try breaking into your home to see if the doors and windows are secured and if the alarm system is working. Look at your home from a burglar’s point of view: if you were a burglar, would you target it?

Burglary is a crime of opportunity. Bad guys will take every chance they can get. Do not compromise your family’s safety and security by failing to do these deterrents — from installing alarm systems to simply locking your doors. These are simple and practical ways to secure your home and give everyone in your family peace of mind and a good night’s sleep.

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Is Illegal Immigration An Elitist Agenda?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/13/illegal-immigration-elitist-agenda/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/13/illegal-immigration-elitist-agenda/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:14:07 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11554 Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: I have been out-of-town for the last week and the posts haven’t been updated as much as I am used to which is probably a good thing when all is said and done. Our vacation home was supposed to have Wi-Fi but that didn’t work out. Instead of sitting around for hours writing […]

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Written by Capt. William E. Simpson on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: I have been out-of-town for the last week and the posts haven’t been updated as much as I am used to which is probably a good thing when all is said and done. Our vacation home was supposed to have Wi-Fi but that didn’t work out. Instead of sitting around for hours writing posts each day, I was able to enjoy some time with my family and I am sure it goes without saying which is better for me. Playtime is over though and tomorrow we will resume our regularly scheduled posts on the Prepper Journal and I hope you will join me again. In the meantime we have another great guest post from our friend Captain Bill. Enjoy!


As it has been said: “Houston, we have a problem”! The numbers of illegal immigrants gaining access into the U.S. and then disappearing within the country is at all-time highs according to many reports.

 

U.S. Immigrant Population and Share over Time, 1850-Present

U.S. Immigrant Population and Share over Time, 1850-Present

And as a class of potential voters, illegal immigrants are statistically significant. So much so that they could potentially vote, even as illegals given the lack of safeguards, to make things even easier for other illegal immigrants. As far back as 2004, there were over 2.5 million illegal immigrants in just California alone! Today there are more than 3-million illegal immigrants in California alone, which cost the State’s tax-payers $25-Billion annually!

But what’s worse is that it seems there is a clear agenda by the current administration to allow these illegal immigrants to actually remain in the U.S. illegally, and to get education, medical care and jobs. But why would anyone want this? Who benefits from this? Certainly not the American taxpayers!

Many politically oriented strategists simply view the problem from the political point of view as a ‘balance of power’ between parties related to votes. Generally, I tend to disagree, since both the current political ‘parties’ are more or less subverted by the power of money and influence.

There are many potential dangers with the advent of the recent massive influx of illegal immigrants, which include an unchecked influx of dangerous criminals and members of terrorist groups, as well as individuals who are carrying various diseases, some of which are quite serious and highly contagious!

However I fear there may be an even more sinister undercurrent lurking in the actions (or lack thereof in this case) of the current administration.

Generally, when you ask Americans about the current government, the words ‘lawless’ and ‘out of control’ are commonly mentioned as disapproval ratings skyrocket for most politicians, especially the current administration.

But is the government really out of control? Now that is the question; or are they obeying the directives of the unseen elitists who are actually pulling all the strings?

Some people refer to these unseen zillionaires with terms like ‘Illuminati’, and other conspiracy theory driven descriptors. I really think it’s much simpler than a conspiracy… it’s just simple corporate business strategy being carried out by the politicians they control using multinational national tactics. Here’s what I mean…

This class of elitists are so wealthy that individually they own dozens of large corporations (these people are not found on the Forbes list of the wealthiest people, by design). As of result of the disjointed efforts of the socialist driven environmentalist movement, these greedy elitists decided they could make more money by moving many of their corporations offshore, along with their numerous individual and corporate bank accounts… however, as we have seen as of late, having offshore operations isn’t as profitable as it was just a couple decades ago. Foreign governments are increasingly more corrupt and unstable, and that translates into higher costs for doing business, and that in turn offsets the savings from the cheap overseas labor force and lack of regulations; not good for the bottom line!

Hmmm… what’s a wealthy elitist to do about this problem?

Well… since the elitists have so much of the current government in their hip pockets and working for them, there is a lot they can do! And what keeps them laughing is they have us, the U.S. taxpayers, paying the government to essentially carry-out their agendas!

First-off, they use their socialist-progressive friends and their highly integrated media psy-ops programs to convince Americans it’s OK to be poor; as long as everyone is equally poor. And that some austerity measures are reasonable given the past excesses of Americans, while simultaneously taxing the heck out of Americans, thereby effectively making them even poorer across the board. In fact, the ‘middle-class’ has almost disappeared in many States across the America:

Next, you import a whole new labor force into the county (America) that is fully under your control (as compared to foreign countries); a labor force that is large (in the millions) and who will work really cheap; and illegal immigrants fit that bill perfectly.

Now the profitability problem is almost solved; all that is left is to re-integrate your corporations back into America, while keeping Americans so far down in the dumps that they cannot do anything about your actions or the government you have essentially put in place using the power of the media that you also control.

Of course legal Americans will now have to compete for these low-paying corporate jobs due to the overabundance of available labor (thanks to all the illegal immigrants in the U.S. labor market) and fewer jobs thanks to the work of the progressive-socialists and environmentalists who have killed millions of non-corporate jobs in America, which also forces the cost of labor down. And this is very good for the elitists running things while hiding behind ‘the curtain of government’. The result is just a modern version of Old World Europe, where the serfs worked for the Lords.

So if we simply follow the money, we clearly see the corporate logic in allowing the massive influx of illegal immigrants to continue, virtually unabated. As of this writing it is estimated that there are over 12-Million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.!

The response of Americans should be just as simple as the elitist tactics, and is defined and indicated within in the text of the United States Constitution.

Americans need to regain control of ‘their’ government and make the needed changes before it’s too late! Or not… instead, Americans can continue to succumb to these combined tactics, and just buy a case of beer or a bottle of wine, go home after working 4 days out of every week just to pay for the elitist agenda, take your meds and zone out on some sitcom that was carefully designed to make you feel better about your lousy situation.

If you want to learn more about how you are being manipulated by the elitists, here is some more interesting reading.

America is like a boat on tempestuous waters and needs to quickly find a safe port before it’s too late!

 

Cheers! Capt. Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus

www.WilliameSimpson.com
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6505899/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NauticalPrepper

CaptainBillFrequent contributor, Capt. William E. Simpson II is a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose. Capt. Bill holds a U.S.C.G. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. He is also the author of many articles on sailing and the book ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) You can read more from the Nautical Prepper on Capt. Bill’s personal site at www.williamesimpson.com

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The Message of Prepping Is Hope, not Fearhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/09/message-prepping-is-hope-not-fear/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/09/message-prepping-is-hope-not-fear/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 22:59:03 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11541 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am always very happy to receive comments and questions on the Prepper Journal. Our readers come from such a diverse background of experiences, knowledge and perspective and the comments allow anyone to have a dialog about issues that are pertinent to their own unique circumstance and share prepping tips with others in our little […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am always very happy to receive comments and questions on the Prepper Journal. Our readers come from such a diverse background of experiences, knowledge and perspective and the comments allow anyone to have a dialog about issues that are pertinent to their own unique circumstance and share prepping tips with others in our little but growing community.

Some of the comments are responses to the post itself but often I receive questions from our readers too and I wanted to share one comment from a reader named Nicole because she has some great questions that I wanted to share with everyone.

Nicole writes:

As a city dweller, the more I read through these tips (which are great and very helpful) and the more I get a better understanding of the situation at hand, the larger my concerns become about being able to prep even the basics properly. The size of apartments for those in large metropolitan areas limit one’s storage options, especially when taking situational awareness and OPSEC/Gray Neighbor matters into consideration.

Where my goal was to one day be a homeowner and debt-free, it seems like now learning about the importance of prepping and all that goes with it has me realizing that I’m at a huge disadvantage on so many levels and may not likely, if ever, make it to the other side of my objectives…especially where being prepared is concerned. As it stands, I’m starting think that investing time and resources into acquiring more skills is one of the more attainable preps that are within reach more-so than others. I wonder if learning about gardening, herbal remedies and treating/gathering/filtering water may help to compensate for the lack of storage options available in the city…and of course, even those skills might only be useful to a certain extent.

One moment I’m hopeful and pumped to take actions toward increasing my chances of survival, and then the next moment, I’m thinking that I’m just doomed due to location and limited resources.

When Nicole sent this in I was already thinking about a post on a related topic. I read prepper blogs and survival websites daily because I am still learning myself and there are a ton of great resources for preppers out there. There was a recent post on a very popular prepping blog that was written on the subject of bugging out. The main focus of the article was essentially that if you don’t have a remote bug out location you are pretty much doomed. I am over simplifying for the sake of brevity here, but that is what I took away as the writer’s argument for all their advice. Now, not coincidentally, the writer has a business of providing information about survival retreats so the effect of making everyone believe they must have a bug out retreat as soon as possible was not (in my opinion) accidental and to be honest, there isn’t anything wrong with that.

However, this type of advice and some other methods of motivating people lead some to be discouraged. I think that in Nicole’s case she is looking at the information we who have prepping blogs put out there and she looks at her personal situation and it can seem overwhelming. The last thing we need to be doing as people who profess to want to get as many individuals prepared for life’s big surprises is scaring them so much they give up.

Two Is One and One is… Still Better than Nothing

If you have read even one article on prepping, you have most likely heard the term; two is one and one is none. If you are new to prepping and have not yet heard this, the cute saying is speaking to redundancy. Its meaning is that stuff happens; things break or malfunction or get lost. If you only have one of any item and that item is lost you could be up a creek. So, the wisdom is to be truly prepared you should have redundancy or more than one of just about anything.

This saying is a good way of illustrating the concept of redundancy but have we used it to the point of making everyone think that if they don’t have a backup they are hopelessly screwed? Look at the point of the bug out location above. The writer all but says if you don’t have a bug out location sooner or later you will regret it and I don’t believe that is the case. Could it be one potential outcome of many potential crisis’s or events in our future? Sure, but you can’t just say across the board that anyone who doesn’t have a cabin in the woods and 50 people to guard it is going to die. I think we need to change the message here.

Prepping is not something with a final goal of a single checklist of supplies that you can purchase, skills you can master and tactical training you can take. You won’t be able to get a degree in prepping and I believe that in one sense of the word, there are no expert preppers. There isn’t anyone who can say they are prepared for anything, anywhere at any time. Prepping is a way of living that can make pretty much anyone more prepared in thought and resources but it is not some goal to be achieved. Are there people that are more prepared than others? Of course, but each individual’s life makes a tremendous impact into what they can accomplish and painting with too broad of a brush can cause more harm than good.

Yoga pants don’t make you athletic

I bet I could list on one hand the number of people I personally know who have two homes or some extra land somewhere. None of those people are actually living in these ‘potential retreats’ of theirs and don’t plan on it. Does that mean that I and anyone else who doesn’t bug out to the woods are doomed? No. Does it mean that if like Nicole you are an apartment prepper that she can’t take steps to get prepared? Not at all and the person who wrote the article about the bug out location, with all due respect doesn’t know everything.

Let’s say we all did have that beautiful stocked cabin in the woods. Does that mean we would all be safe from any SHTF event? No because reality always gets a vote. Just like wearing an athletic outfit doesn’t ensure you are in good shape, simply having things doesn’t make you prepared. You can have the perfect survival weapons, loaded bug out bags, hidden caches of food and supplies and get hit by a car on the way out to your bug out retreat. Having stuff doesn’t make you prepared and the opposite is true also that people who do not have certain things will not surely die.

Don’t get overwhelmed – Keep your eyes on the goal

Here is my advice to Nicole and anyone else out there who just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Prepping is a lifestyle not a list you can necessarily check off that guarantees your success. You should be prepping because you want to live and believe that by your efforts you will be able to impact whether or not you do live. Just because you don’t have the bug out mansion in the woods of Montana, you can still take steps that could save lives. Just because you have limited storage doesn’t mean you can’t still stock up some items.

Use the knowledge you are learning to inform your decisions rather than get disappointed with where you are. I think it is great that you are taking proactive steps in the first place to learn and become as prepared as you can. This is an excellent step in the right direction and means that you already have a willingness to succeed. This mental attitude of yours is already so much more important than any preps you can purchase. I think learning new skills is a great way to get more prepared and you could in turn help others out in your area as well, but don’t just stop there. Continue making small steps forward even if you have to live in an apartment now. Try putting the skills you are learning into practice and growing some food, join a co-op and help that way by actually working to produce food. Don’t believe for a second that just because you can’t afford everything that is recommended you can’t make a huge difference or that your location means you are doomed.

The message if there is one of Prepping is hope for everyone because we hope to be able to survive. We hope to protect our families and we hope to thrive and make a difference in the lives of people we love. We prepare for bad things to happen, but we prepare because we have the hope that we will survive through those bad things whatever they may be. Keep trying and don’t give up and never believe for a second that you can’t do something if you don’t have X. There will always be something else to acquire, some shiny gadget to buy, but your spirit and mental strength are all that matter in the end.

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Household Survival – 15 Lifesaving Items You Probably Already Havehttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/07/household-survival-15-lifesaving-items-probably-already/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/10/07/household-survival-15-lifesaving-items-probably-already/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 21:57:29 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11521 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Many of us who are new to prepping become wrapped up in the things we don’t have. We scour the internet looking for prepper checklists and there are millions out there. We look for ideas on the best handguns to purchase or the best firearms to have. We look at bug out vehicles and survival […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Many of us who are new to prepping become wrapped up in the things we don’t have. We scour the internet looking for prepper checklists and there are millions out there. We look for ideas on the best handguns to purchase or the best firearms to have. We look at bug out vehicles and survival bunkers and hidden retreats in the woods. It can be overwhelming.

I know a lot of preppers including me in the beginning focused on the things we felt we needed to get at the beginning. The sheer volume of ‘things’ that make up all these lists can seem insurmountable and you might even be wondering where to start.

How about starting in your own home first?

There are a lot of great household survival supplies that you as a prepper already have. I am not saying that you don’t need to look at other options for survival, but don’t overlook the obvious either. A true prepper isn’t defined necessarily by what they have, but more how they are prepared to deal with crisis and looking at the items you have on hand is one way to adjust your perception.

 

  1. Bleach – Bleach is great for a couple of things. First you can use it to disinfect surfaces because bleach will kill almost anything. Bleach could be used to sanitize your home should there be some infectious disease outbreak and it can also be used to disinfect water which could come in handy if for some reason the tap stops working and you have to get your water from alternate sources. For instance, if you have a lake or rain barrels for water collection you will want to disinfect that water before you drink it. Boiling is a better alternative, but bleach is great in a pinch. Bleach does have a shelf life though that I discuss in another post.
  2. Towels – Do you have old towels lying in a closet somewhere? We have a ton hidden in a box that we use for all types of odd jobs. When the car needs washing we break out the old towels. When the survival dog is wet from the rain, out come the towels. These old towels and rags have a use in a survival situation too. They can be stitched together to make blankets, they can be shoved in cracks to keep drafts out; they can be ripped up to make diapers or bandages or fire starter. You can wrap them around hot pot handles to save your hands too.
  3. Dental Floss – Dental floss makes great fishing line or emergency rope although you would need a lot of it to make rope and that is assuming you don’t have that wimpy wax tape they are selling now. Floss can be used to suture a wound, as your noose in a small game snare or as fishing line. I like to use it to keep my teeth clean and I have some stocked for that purpose and I’ll use the inner cords from my paracord for the other uses.
  4. Feminine hygiene products – What? Well you might be thinking these are necessary for one thing but think outside of the box. These products are great for stopping blood so in an emergency situation, they can save someone from bleeding to death. Tampons can be used to plug bullet wounds and maxi-pads make great pressure bandages. What about those make up remover pads? They make great tinder for starting fires. You can actually soak them in paraffin wax and they will make starting fires a breeze so they are a good addition to your bug out bag. Check out this video for instructions.
  5. Duct Tape – If you don’t have at least one roll of duct tape in your home right now, I am pretty sure you are violating a natural law of some type. Duct tape is incredibly useful from making repairs on clothing or survival gear, patching holes, protecting your feet from blisters and generally being awesome. All duct tape isn’t made equal though and I recommend something like Gorilla tape which is much stronger than traditional duct tape. For a bug out bag tip I don’t carry a whole roll. I take a plastic card like a hotel key or old credit card and wrap about 20 feet of duct tape around the card. This way I have plenty of duct tape if I need it but do not have all the weight or space a whole roll takes up. You can even use it to make a sling!
  6. Garden hose has more uses even if it has a hole.

    Garden hose has more uses even if it has a hole.

    Garden Hose – Garden hose can be used to do what it normally does and that is transport water from one location to another. You can also use this as a siphon to get gas out of vehicles or storage tanks. You can also cut the hose and use it to protect your hands when you are dealing with wire. Just cut some of the hose off, slice it down one side and slide the wire in. You can use the garden hose to set up a makeshift shower with a bucket of water hung in a tree and gravity. Let a large bucket of water sit in the sun for a few hours until it gets warm. Set the hose in the bucket and get the water flowing much as you would in siphoning gas and you have a way to hose off with warm water.

  7. Tools and Lumber – Hand tools will most likely be needed as I don’t want to use my gas to recharge electric tools. A hammer, some nails and heavy duty plywood can be used to seal openings and make your home more secure from intruders. Nailing windows shut can slow access and repairs to all manner of items is easier with tools. You can also use box cutters and even lawn mower blades as defensive weapons.
  8. Cooking Oil – So what do you do with oil when you are all out of fish sticks and French fries? Make an oil lantern with it. That’s right, oil burns so if you have a power blackout and you are fresh out of candles, you can use oil and a glass jar or small empty can to create a source of light in your home. Make sure you are careful though because any open flame can cause you more problems than it solves. This video from the Shepherd School demonstrates how to make a survival oil lamp.
  9. Kitchen Knives – Every kitchen in America must have that block of knives sitting on the counter that we got as a housewarming gift. Just because you don’t have an expensive EDC knife on you doesn’t mean you have to forgo the advantages that knives offer. A good kitchen knife will cut just as well as most of the tactical knife blades out there and in a pinch would be better than nothing. If you want to carry a knife you can make a sheath for it out of plastic or cardboard and duct tape. Wrap a long piece of paracord around the handle to make the grip better and you have your caveman survival knife.
  10. Survival Oil Lamp

    Survival Oil Lamp

    Tea Bags – Tea Bags are not only good for a beverage (as long as you have sugar or honey IMHO) but they are also a great homeopathic addition to your medical kit. Tea leaves contain tannins which are a natural anti-inflammatory. Some people will use wet tea bags to reduce bags under their eyes and you can use this for lots of other uses like bee stings, hemorrhoids, boils (not in that order obviously).

  11. Toilet Paper – If there is one prepper item that I have seen people obsess over more than anything it is toilet paper. What will you do when the roll is all gone? I am thinking there are far bigger problems in the world if you can’t buy toilet paper anymore, but let’s say you have an abundance of the fluffy white stuff and are looking for other uses. You can twist toilet paper into a wick for a toilet paper wick heater, or your oil lamp or use it to start fires, apply medicine or write notes on it.
  12. Canned Food – Once you are done with the contents of your canned food you can use them as containers. You can build that oil lamp I mentioned above. You can also use them to cook with over a fire and when they are all done, you can string empty cans together to make a hobo alarm system. Don’t worry if the disaster left you a ton of cans but no way to open them, because you can easily open a can without a can opener.
  13. Potato Chips – Believe it or not you can use potato chips to start a fire. That is because they have so much fat and oil in them. I will add that this would be a really silly way to start a fire because you are using food to make a fire when that should be unnecessary in all but the most extreme circumstances. Maybe you are trapped in a Lay’s warehouse or something and need a fire to keep warm. I added this just for kicks but you should know how to start a fire using tinder and not food. It is possible though.
  14. Fire Extinguisher – Not only can this be used to put out fires, you can also use this as a defensive weapon. Granted, I don’t ever want to be that close to the bad guy; I’d prefer to be shooting distance away, but in a pinch you can use a fire extinguisher to blind someone. Spray them hard in the face and while they are blinded, crack them over the head with the fire extinguisher.
  15. Garbage Bags – I don’t know how many uses garbage bags have but they are really just plastic sheeting that has been folded and welded together. We look at these as our go-to option for taking out the trash but they can also double as rain gear. Just cut a hole for the head and one for each arm and you are all set. You can use them as a water barrier if you have to sleep on the ground. You can also use them to keep the rain off your head by cutting them down the sides to make the bag footprint larger. These can also be used to black out your windows if something happens and you don’t want your neighbors looking inside at your oil lamp. Garbage bags and duct tape go a long way.

What items do you have in your house that could have other uses?

 

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